Similar to the other recent tests, the projectiles flew about 400 kilometers and landed in waters off North Korea’s east coast. The launches took place as the US and South Korea conduct military exercises.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said Friday he had received a nice letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and that the two might have another meeting. Trump also sought to pressure South Korea to pay more to host US troops.
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper visited South Korea this week to reiterate President Trump’s demand that Seoul increase its share of the cost of stationing American forces in South Korea. Experts say the drills involving those troops with the South Korean soldiers provoke North Korea’s behavior.
Still, the US-South Korea joint drills this year have been toned down compared to large-scale exercises in the past and rehearse the transfer of control in wartime to South Korea.
At the previous meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the DMZ, the two agreed to renew negotiations on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and sanctions relief for Pyongyang. Those talks have yet failed to materialize, and informed sources suggest it will only be after the ongoing joint US-South Korea military drills that such discussions can resume.