Seoul keeps eye on situation as tensions escalate over N.K. missiles


South Korea will keep a close watch on the latest developments on the Korean Peninsula, a unification ministry official said Thursday, as uncertainty has grown over the prospect of inter-Korean relations with the North’s firing of short-range missiles. Earlier in the morning, North Korea launched two short-range missiles into the East Sea. It came less than three months after the North test-fired short-range missiles. “There seems to be a need to watch the situation closely,” the ministry official said on the condition of anonymity, without giving further comments.


The firing came as inter-Korean relations hit a snag amid little progress in denuclearization negotiations between the United States and North Korea. Pyongyang has been ramping up pressure on Seoul and Washington over their joint military drill slated for next month, warning that the exercise could affect the prospect of the promised resumption of the nuclear talks. The resumption of the working-level talks was agreed by U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during their surprise meeting at the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom on June 30. North Korea has also said it will not receive Seoul’s food aid, which was planned to be delivered through the World Food Programme, citing the combined military drill.



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