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North Korea fires short-range missiles into the sea
29 August 2017, 12:47 | Clyde Nash
This image provided by Yonhap News TV represents a North Korea missile launch
South Korean security analyst Kim Dong-yub said Saturday that South Korea's assessments don't contradict USA military evaluations that identified the launches as short-range ballistic missiles.
Last week, Mr Trump praised North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for his "wise" decision while UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he had told Russia, Japan, the United States, China and North and South Korea that he was available to help broker talks.
US Pacific Command, in its initial assessment of the launch on Saturday, said North Korea's first and third missiles failed in flight. If the South Korean assessments are correct, the North might have conducted tests to expand the range of its 300-millimeter multiple rocket launchers, which are believed to have a radius of up to 200 kilometers (124 miles), Kim said.
Three North Korea short-range ballistic missiles failed on Saturday, U.S. military officials said, which, if true, would be a temporary setback to Pyongyangs rapid nuclear and missile expansion. "The second missile launch at 12:07pm appears to have blown up nearly immediately", Pacific Command said, using times at its Hawaii-based headquarters.
The border islands have occasionally seen military skirmishes between the rivals, including a North Korean artillery barrage on Yeonpyeong in 2010 that left two South Korean marines and two civilians dead.
"Kim Jong-Un expressed great satisfaction over the successful target-striking contest", it said.
"The reality vividly shows that the USA ambition for stifling [North Korea] remains unchanged no matter how much water may flow under the bridge and the puppet group's ambition for invading the north remains unchanged", the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported.
Pyongyang then threatened to fire a salvo of missiles towards the USA territory of Guam, but later backed away from the plan and tensions had eased.
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However, some experts say North Korea is now mainly focused on the bigger picture of testing its bargaining power against the United States with its new long-range missiles and likely has no interest in letting things get too tense during the drills.
The White House said President Trump was briefed on what happened and "we are monitoring the situation".
"Xi made the remarks in a congratulatory message sent to Moon on the 25th anniversary of the establishment of China-South Korea diplomatic relations", Xinhua said.
Last month, it carried out two successful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launches, overseen by Mr Kim and apparently bringing the U.S. into range for the first time.
The projectiles were launched at 06:49 on Saturday (21:49 GMT Friday), South Korea's Defence Ministry said.
"They could be ballistic missiles but they could be rockets".
The North's missiles have alarmed Japan since a Taepodong-1 overflew its territory in 1998.
Tillerson called North Korea's "restraint" pleasing and said it could open a pathway for dialogue in the near future.
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