North Korea said on Friday its latest missile launch was a warning to South Korean "warmongers" to stop importing weapons and conducting joint military drills, a message that analysts said was also aimed at the United States.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Friday said his country's latest round of missile tests was a warning for South Korea.
Pyongyang test-fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Thursday... with Kim on hand to watch the launches.
According to state news agency KCNA, Kim said, quote, "We are forced to continue to develop super-powerful weapon systems to remove the potential and direct threats to the security of our country that exist in the South." The test of what the South said was a new missile was the second in two months, and the first since Kim met with U.S. President Donald Trump at the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas last month.
The two agreed then to revive stalled nuclear talks, but analysts say the test launch raises doubts about those negotiations.
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus on Thursday called for the North to avoid making any more provocative moves.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) MORGAN ORTAGUS, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN, SAYING: "We want to have diplomatic engagement and continue to urge the North Koreans to resolve all of things through diplomacy." A South Korean defense official told Reuters the missiles showed similar features to the ones Kim tested in May -- a small, fast projectile that experts say is easier to hide, launch and maneuver in flight.
Among the North's concerns are South Korea's purchase of U.S. stealth fighter jets and plans for joint military drills with the U.S. next month.