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North Korea tests missiles, slams US-South Korea drills

People watch a television news screen showing a file footage of a North Korean missile launch, at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, on August 6, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Frank Smith
Press TV, Seoul 

North Korea test-fired two short-range missiles early Tuesday morning as Pyongyang reacted to joint US-South Korea military drills  begun hours earlier with hostility.

North Korea’s state media blasted the drills and recent military deployments by Washington and Seoul for violating previous agreements, warning that Pyongyang also has other options on the table. 

North Korea, the US, and South Korea had agreed in various recent leadership summits to pursue new peaceful relations. Explaining the delay in restarting agreed-upon talks has become a blame game.

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in succeeded in bringing North Korea to the negotiating table, and brokering meetings between the North’s leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump. South Koreans don’t want to see that diplomacy undone by US-South Korea military exercises.

This year’s US-South Korea drills have been scaled down compared to previous exercises. Still, Pyongyang also criticizes the increased militarization of South Korea by the US, including the deployment of F-35 strike fighters.

The US-South Korea joint military exercises are scheduled to wrap up on August 19. Meanwhile, on Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on South Korea for help in the Persian Gulf, as Washington ramps up pressure on allies to join its naval forces in a standoff with Iran.

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