North Korea fires ‘unidentified projectile’

North Korean leader guides strike drill in the East Sea of Korea on 4 May. Image copyright EPA/KCNA
Image caption North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un supervised last week’s firings

North Korea has fired at least one unknown projectile, less than a week after it tested several short-range missiles, South Korea’s military says.

The projectile was fired from the Sino-ri location north-west of the capital, Pyongyang, toward the east.

The test is an attempt by the North to increase pressure on the US over its failure to make concessions in nuclear negotiations, analysts say.

A top US envoy is in South Korea for talks on how to break the deadlock.

In February, a meeting in Vietnam between the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, and US President Donald Trump, ended without agreement. Mr Trump walked away from what he described as a bad deal offered by Mr Kim.

What do we know about the latest firing?

The unidentified projectile was fired at about 16:30 local time (07:30 GMT), the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said, without providing further details. Unconfirmed reports say it flew some 420km (260 miles) over the North Korean mainland.

Located some 75km from Pyongyang, the Sino-ri base is one of North Korea’s longest-running missile facilities, according to the Washington-based think-tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Officials were still analysing whether it was a single or multiple projectiles, a spokesman told AFP news agency.

What about the nuclear impasse?

Hours earlier, US Special Representative on North Korea Stephen Biegun arrived in the South Korean capital Seoul to discuss ways of getting denuclearisation talks back on track.

On Saturday, amid a breakdown in communication between the countries following the summit in Vietnam, North Korea tested several short-range missiles.

South Korea said the missiles were fired from the Hodo peninsula in the east of the country.

The missile launch, the first since Pyongyang tested an intercontinental ballistic missile in November 2017, came after the country tested what it described as a new “tactical guided weapon” last month.


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