New North Korean projectile launch similar to earlier short-range ones: U.S. officials – National


North Korea has carried out a new projectile launch, U.S. officials said on Thursday, adding that initial information indicated the launches were similar to two recent short-range tests carried out by Pyongyang.

South Korea‘s military said unidentified short-range projectiles were fired at 2:59 a.m. and 3:23 a.m. local time on Friday, from North Korea‘s South Hamgyong Province into the East Sea.

U.S. ready for ‘diplomatic conversation’ with North Korea: Pompeo

“We are monitoring the situation in case of additional launches and maintaining a readiness posture,” South Korea‘s Yonhap news agency quotes the country’s joint chiefs of staff as saying.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said at least one projectile was detected that did not pose a threat to North America, although there could have been multiple projectiles.

WATCH: North Korea launches two more short-range missiles creating another setback for U.S.

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles early on Wednesday, only days after it launched two similar missiles on July 25.

U.S. President Trump played down the launches when asked about them at the White House just after news broke about the latest projectile launch. He told reporters he was not worried at they were short-range and “very standard.”

Earlier on Thursday and before the latest launch, U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said North Korea‘s latest missile launches did not violate a pledge that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made to Trump not to test long-range missiles and nuclear weapons.

The two leaders agreed at a June 30 meeting to revive stalled denuclearization talks, but efforts to resume the negotiations remain in doubt.

North Korea tested missiles, but that didn’t violate a pledge to Trump: John Bolton

Diplomats have crisscrossed the region this week in the hope of restarting the talks and the North Korea launches have appeared intended to put pressure on South Korea and the United States to stop planned military exercises and offer other concessions.

A summit between Trump and Kim in Vietnam in February collapsed after the two sides failed to reconcile differences between U.S. demands for North Korea‘s complete denuclearization and North Korean demands for sanctions relief.

Bolton told Fox Business Network that while the launches did not violate Kim’s pledge, “you have to ask when the real diplomacy is going to begin, when the working-level discussions on denuclearization will begin.”

“We’ve been waiting to hear since June the 30th,” he told the network in a subsequent interview. “We’re ready for working-level negotiations. The president’s ready, when the time is right, for another summit. Let’s hear from North Korea.”

North Korea fired unidentified projectiles off coast: South Korean military

On Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he hoped talks would start soon, though he “regretted” that a highly anticipated meeting with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho would not take place in Thailand this week.

Ri has canceled a trip to an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) conference in Bangkok that Pompeo is attending.

WATCH: U.S. urges North Korea to stick with diplomacy after short-range missile test

“We stand ready to continue our diplomatic conversation,” Pompeo told a news conference in Bangkok, adding that he was optimistic Kim would deploy his team for working-level talks “before too long.”

At the United Nations on Thursday, Britain, France and Germany called on North Korea to engage in “meaningful” talks with the United States and said international sanctions needed to be fully enforced until Pyongyang dismantled its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Their statement came after a closed-door U.N. Security Council meeting on the latest launches.

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