It is not prohibited for North Korea to test short-range missiles as such tests are carried out by many other countries, US President Donald Trump said after new launches of unidentified projectiles by Pyongyang.
“We have a very good relationship … It can always change, we will see what happens. [North Korean leader] Kim Jong Un has been pretty straight with me, I think … He likes testing missiles but we never restricted short-range missiles,” Trump told reporters on late Friday, before leaving for the G7 Summit in France.
The president added that many countries were carrying out missile tests, including the United States itself.
On Saturday, South Korean media reported that Pyongyang had launched unidentified projectiles into the Sea of Japan from the eastern province of South Hamgyong. The projectiles, which are thought to be short-range ballistic missiles, flew 380 kilometers (236 miles) at a maximum altitude of 97 kilometers, according to the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The Saturday’s launches of projectiles are the seventh missile test, conducted by North Korea since July 25. The previous tests were conducted on July 25, on July 31, August 2, August 6, August 10 and August 16.
The situation on the Korean Peninsula significantly improved last year after North Korean leader Kim’s talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Trump. In June 2018, Kim and Trump reached an agreement, stipulating that North Korea would make efforts to promote complete denuclearisation of the peninsula in exchange for US-South Korean military drills’ freeze and potential removal of US sanctions.
However, the negotiating process has stalled this year, with the tensions having escalated after Pyongyang’s recent missile tests.