SKorea: Rival N.Korea launches possible ballistic missile

Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva
A North Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva
Author

14 May, 2017

North Korea launched a ballistic missile from the northwestern part of the country early Sunday, the South Korean Joints Chief of Staff said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

A statement said that the missile was sacked from near Kusong City, in North Pyongan province, and that the South Korean and US militaries are analyzing the details.

Despite increasing tensions between Pyongyang and Washington, a senior North Korean diplomat said the country would be willing to holds with the United States.

North Korea's foreign ministry director for US affairs, Choe Son Hui, made the comment on her way to Pyongyang after attending a conference with USA scholars in Norway, according to South Korea's Yon hap news agency.

Pyongyang has sought to advance its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

The comments, by a senior North Korean diplomat, came after US President Donald Trump said he would be "honoured" to meet the North's leader, Kim Jong-un.

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"We'll have dialogue if the conditions are there", she said.

The comments from Pyongyang have come after months of heightened tensions between U.S. and North Korea over the North's nuclear programme ambitions.

"Hui met with former USA officials and scholars in Norway for what are known as "track 2" talks, the Associated Press reported".

South Korea's new president Moon Jae-In, who took office this week, favours engagement with Pyongyang to bring it to the negotiating table, unlike his conservative predecessors.

Trump previously warned that the United States and North Korea could "absolutely" go to war in a "major, major conflict" over the communist state's nuclear threat.

Weeks earlier, however, North Korea had warned the USA it was "ready to hit back with nuclear attacks" if provoked, as the countries seemingly moved closer to a direct confrontation.


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