North’s Kim sends condolences to Moon over mother’s death

North Korea fired a series of missiles over the summer

North Korea is widely believed to have missiles capable of striking long-range targets, including the United States mainland.

Pyongyang is under multiple sets of worldwide sanctions over its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programmes, which it says it needs to defend against a possible United States invasion.

The launch comes as North Korea ramps up pressure ahead of its end-of-year deadline for the United States to change its approach to stalled nuclear talks.

Asean annual meetings open this week in Bangkok and the North Korean regime has sometimes timed weapons tests to coincide with such high-profile summits.

The development comes amid stained ties between the two Koreas amid a lack of progress in a US -led effort to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons program. According to Kim, negotiations collapsed "entirely because the US has not discarded its old stance and attitude".

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff did not immediately confirm whether the weapons were rockets, artillery or ballistic missiles, or how far they flew. A second projectile was detected at 4:38 pm.

The projectiles landed outside Japan's maritime exclusive economic zone, the Japanese coast guard said.

The afternoon launch timing was a departure from this year's string of tests, which usually took place around dawn.

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If confirmed as a missile test, it would be the North's 12th such launch this year. [Mirror] Kim's In June, Kim sent his sister with flowers when the widow of former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, who championed engagement policy with the North, died.

A senior official hinted Sunday that even the "close personal" relationship between Kim and President Donald Trump was being tested and warned "there can be the exchange of fire any moment".

The deals did not require America to lift sanctions, but they did require North Korea to work towards "denuclearization of the Korean peninsula".

It says the missiles are necessary to defend against new warplanes and weapons acquired by South Korea, including the advanced F-35 stealth fighter jet.

The report also noted that various military de-escalation measures agreed upon between the South and the North have "not reduced the North's tactical or strategic conventional military threat to South Korea, nor do they represent progress in denuclearization".

North Korean state media, however, strongly criticized the drill as practice for invading the North, and said "South Korean military warmongers are driving the situation into an extreme one".

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the launches "as an act that threatens the peace and safety of Japan and the region", noting that the North had carried out some 20 launches this year.

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