In another show of force, North Korea shot two unknown projectiles into the sea Tuesday, just hours after it offered to restart nuclear negotiations with the United States.
The South Korean government said that the missiles were shot from the vicinity of North Korea’s capital of Pyongyang and traveled a distance of about 205 miles. This is the eighth projectile launch North Korea has made since July.
There have been suggestions North Korea is shooting projectiles to pressure the U.S. back to the negotiating table over its controversial nuclear program, as the isolated country continues to face international sanctions that are crippling its economy.
On Monday night, Senior North Korean diplomat Choe Son Hui said that Pyongyang would be open to “comprehensive discussions in late September of the issues we have so far taken up, at a time and place to be agreed.” She had asked that the U.S. come prepared with a “proposal prepared to the interests” of North Korea.
President Trump has been in a series of negotiations with North Korea’s Chairman Kim Jong Un, where Pyongyang would get rid of its nuclear program in exchange for reduced sanctions. Trump has met with Kim multiple times over the past two years, although no concrete deal on the issue has been achieved.
Although Chairman Kim and Trump have enjoyed a friendly relationship, the North Korean government has not been so fond of other U.S. negotiators, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho has called Pompeo a “diehard toxin of U.S. diplomacy” who employs “hackneyed sanctions rhetoric.”
North Korea has been separated from South Korea since 1945. The two countries are still at war with each other, as the Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.