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  • The photo provided by Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 23, 2019 shows Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), inspecting a newly built submarine

    The photo provided by Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 23, 2019 shows Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), inspecting a newly built submarine | Photo: KCNA

Published 27 July 2019

DPRK says the move is a stern warning to South Korea for attempting to bring more high-tech weapons to the peninsula.

The firing of two "new-type tactical" weapons from the DPRK has prompted worries from South Korea and the United States. But Washington said it still wants "diplomatic engagement."

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In a report released Friday, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the DPRK move a day earlier was meant as a warning to South Korea as Seoul is trying to introduce advanced weapons to the peninsula and making preparations for military drills, in disregard of repeated expressions of opposition by Pyongyang.

The DPRK state agency said that "the fire of the new-type tactical guided weapon" on Thursday was to "send a solemn warning to South Korean military warmongers who are running a high fever in their moves to introduce the ultra-modern offensive weapons" into South Korea and hold military exercise in defiance of repeated warnings.

Top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un "personally organized and guided" the firing, and noted Pyongyang cannot but develop super-powerful weapon systems in order to remove the threats that exist in South Korea, the report said.

South Korea said Thursday that it believed two new short-range ballistic missiles were launched just after dawn from Wonsan on the east coast of the DPRK and flew more than 430 km and 690 km respectively before falling into the sea.

The South Korean National Security Council (NSC) expressed deep concern about the DPRK move, saying it is of no help for efforts to defuse military tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The DPRK's firing of projectiles occurred less than a month after an impromptu meeting in Panmunjom between Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump produced an agreement to resume working-level negotiation on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

The U.S. State Department on Thursday reiterated Washington's intention to continue its diplomatic engagement with Pyongyang. "We want to have diplomatic engagement with the North Koreans (the DPRK)," spokesperson Morgan Ortagus told a press briefing.

"We continue to urge the North Koreans (DPRK) to resolve all of the things that the President (Donald Trump) and Chairman Kim have talked about through diplomacy," she added, and urged "no more provocations."

The two sides were expected to resume working-level negotiation in mid-July. Pyongyang last week warned of a possible call-off if Washington "breaks its promise" to cancel planned joint military exercises with Seoul set for August.

After the firing of the DPRK projectiles, the Japanese Kyodo news agency cited government source as saying that the projectiles had not reached Japan's exclusive economic zone and presented no threat to its national security.

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