North Korea North Korea reportedly test-launched five short-range missiles — and may fire more — in what analysts said is an attempt to improve its bargaining position ahead of possible talks with the United States.
North Korea has recently reached out to the U.S. and South Korea following months of tension over its nuclear and missile tests earlier this year. Leader Kim Jong Il told visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao last week that his government might return to stalled six-nation negotiations on its nuclear program depending on the outcome of direct talks it seeks with the United States.
Washington has said it is considering holding talks with North Korea as part of efforts to restart the six-party negotiations.
Yonhap, citing a South Korean official it did not identify, said the KN-02 surface-to-surface missiles were fired from mobile launch pads and had a range of up to 75 miles (120 kilometers). It said North Korea launched two missiles in the morning and three more in the afternoon.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff today confirmed the missile launches, but declined to identify the number and types of missiles fired on Monday off North Korea’s east coast — the first since July, when the North test-fired seven missiles.