After avoiding launching for more than one year, North Korea finally launched several short-range missiles. This move comes amid growing tensions with the United States. The South Korean government and the White House have issued statements about the launch.
On Friday, Sarah Sanders, the press secretary at the White House said; we know that North Korea launched missiles and we are monitoring the situation accordingly.
Less than three months ago, United States president Donald Trump met with Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, to discuss terms of denuclearization in Korea. Even if this was the second time both leaders were holding such a summit, they were unable to reach a conclusion in favor of denuclearization.
North Korea had initially imposed a testing moratorium but this missile launch did not violate it. However, it is certainly going to increase tensions with the United States. It is also in line with the threat by North Korea officials in March. At the time, they said that the country was going to resume missile testing. Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, said that Kim gave Trump his word that North Korea would not be testing any missiles.
Apart from the missile testing, North Korea tested a new tactical guided weapon and the test was witnessed by Kim. At the time, KCNA, a state-controlled news outlet in North Korea, noted that the weapon would give the country more combat power but the nature of the weapon was not disclosed.
This new missile test is just one of the many signs that Kim may no longer be interested in negotiating with Trump. For now, there is no way to determine if the missiles are being tested in preparation for war, defense or offense. Only time will tell of North Korea is improving its defenses or getting ready to attack.