The United States has called for diplomacy after North Korea test fired two ballistic missiles. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) state run media said Kim Jong Un witnessed the rockets take off from a mobile launch platform.
The state run news agency KCNA said the test “is of great significance in drastically improving the firepower of the frontline long-range artillery units and enhancing the efficiency in the operation of tactical nukes.”
The State Department called North Korea’s actions “destabilizing” and made clear that the door to diplomacy remains open.
“We harbor no hostile intent towards the DPRK. And we’ve also made clear that we are willing to meet without preconditions to engage in this dialogue,” State Department Spokesman Ned Price said. “Unfortunately, it is the DPRK that has failed to respond to our invitations, and instead they have engaged in this series of provocations.”
This was North Korea’s 12th missile test this year. More tests are expected in the coming weeks as the DPRK gears up for what it is calling a revolutionary year of celebrations, including the 10th anniversary of Kim Jong Un’s rise to power. In March, the country conducted its first intercontinental ballistic missile test since 2017.
“It is extremely important for United Nations Security Council to send a clear signal to the DPRK that we will not accept escalatory tests as normal,” said Sung Kim, U.S. Special Envoy for North Korea. “Also agreed on the need to maintain the strongest possible joint to joint capability on the Peninsula.”
The U.S. Envoy and his South Korean counterpart agreed that it is more important than ever for the two countries to maintain strong defense readiness. South Korea and the United States are currently engaging in joint military training exercises. The computer simulated drills will continue until Apr. 28. Both participating countries contend the annual drills are defensive, but North Korea and protestors outside South Korea’s presidential palace are calling them a war rehearsal.