On Wednesday morning, North Korea launched an unidentified missile. According to the Japanese coastguard, it could have been a ballistic missile. The attempt took place a few hours before the ceremonial start of the construction of a railway line in South Korea, which Seoul plans to connect the two warring countries. President Mun Dze In, despite the missile launch, called on the Pyongyang regime for dialogue.
The first North Korean missile test since October is in line with the recent announcements by the country’s leader Kim Jong Un about further development of combat capabilities. It also shows the challenges faced by the President of South Korea, Mun Dze In, who is striving for dialogue, the Reuters agency assessed.
WATCH ON TVN24 GO: Biuro 39. Kim’s moneybox
North Korean Missile Test
According to the South Korean Army Chiefs of Staff, an unidentified object was launched at 8:10 local time (10 minutes after midnight in Poland). US military command in the Pacific noted a “ballistic missile launch”, noting that it posed no threat to US or allied troops.
Following the launch of the missile, the National Security Council of South Korea met in an extraordinary meeting and expressed concern about the trial, which “came at a time when internal and external stability is of the utmost importance.” The South Korean military said it was prepared, in cooperation with the US, in case North Korea was to launch another missile.
Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi reported that the launched object – most likely a ballistic missile – flew about 500 kilometers and fell into the sea, most likely outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone. The minister recalled that as of May 2019, North Korea has fired around 40 missiles as part of work on missile technology.
Seoul calls for dialogue
A few hours after the missile was launched, Mun attended the ceremony to begin construction of a section of railroad in the South Korean city of Goseong, which he called “a step towards peace and regional balance” on the Korean Peninsula. Seoul hopes that this line will connect the two Korean states in the future.
In his speech, Mun admitted that the missile launch exacerbated fears and tensions, harming the two-way relationship. He called on the authorities in Pyongyang to make efforts to promote dialogue. – We should not lose hope of dialogue in order to deal with this situation thoroughly. If the two Korean states work together and build trust, one day we will achieve peace, ‘he said.
Reconnecting the two Koreas by rail was one of the main topics at Muna and Kim’s 2018 meeting, but the project has yet to be implemented. Talks stalled with negotiations on the denuclearization of North Korea and a possible relaxation of international sanctions imposed on it.
Main photo source: Reuters