North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered 'long-range strike' drill: State media

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Seoul and Washington previously held large-scale military exercises in the spring, but this year chose to scale those back to "reduce tension" with North Korea. According to South Korea's JCS one missile flew 270 kilometers and the other 420 kilometers.

South Korea's military reiterated Friday that more time was needed to determine whether the short-range missiles the North fired the day before were ballistic missiles, while the United States announced that they were.

He said the North appears to be demonstrating its displeasure with the breakdown of the Hanoi summit between leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump in late February.

Michael Elleman, a missile defense expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, wrote in a piece for North Korean specialty site 38 North that the weapon bore similarities to a Russian ballistic missile called Iskander. He didn't want to be named, citing office rules.

The DPRK launched two unidentified projectiles from an area in its northwestern region Thursday afternoon. North Korea says the test was part of its regular military training.

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Last week, North Korea launched a series of projectiles off its eastern coast that analysts say may have included a new type of short-range ballistic missile.

Kim Jong II, the current leader's father, also once requested the US send Michael Jordan to North Korea, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson told ABC News in 2000.

"We're looking at it very seriously right now". He also knows that I am with him and does not want to break his promise to me.

During the meeting, Lee and Biegun made in-depth discussions on ways to advance the complete denuclearization of and the settlement of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, sharing their assessment of recent situations, including the DPRK's projectile launches, the Seoul ministry said. In an interview with the KBS television network, Moon also said Seoul will explore various options to help revive the talks, including providing food aid to the North and pushing for his fourth summit with Kim.

Choi Hyun-soo, a spokesperson from ROK's defense ministry, said at a regular press briefing that the ministry was deeply anxious about the DPRK's projectile launches, which violate the spirit of the inter-Korean comprehensive military agreement.

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Missile tests could jeopardise the ongoing diplomacy if they violate UN Security Council bans on ballistic technology. -North Korea standoff could end in war - it may signal that North Korea is turning away from diplomacy.

South Korea responded to last week's action by the North by calling for an end to acts that escalate military tension.

In Geneva on Thursday, North Korean Ambassador Han Tae Song likened the economic sanctions to "crimes".

Meanwhile, as tensions escalate, the United States has seized a North Korean cargo ship carrying coal that was used to violate global sanctions.

This picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on 17 April 2019 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un observing the flight drill of the combat pilots of Unit 1017 of the Air and Anti-aircraft Force of the Korean People's Army at an undisclosed place.

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