South Korea: North Korea’s missile launch ‘regrettable’

South Korea’s Defense Ministry on Tuesday (28/9) called North Korea’s latest missile launch “regrettable.”

North Korea fired a short-range missile into the sea early Tuesday, its neighbors said, in the latest weapons test by North Korea that has raised questions about the sincerity of its recent offer for talks with South Korea.

Details of the launch are being analyzed by South Korean and American authorities.

But Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said North Korea fired “what could be a ballistic missile” and that his government was increasing its vigilance and surveillance.

Last Friday and Saturday, Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said her country was open to resume talks and reconciliation steps with South Korea if conditions were met.

Experts say North Korea wants South Korea to try to help it get relief from US-led sanctions.

South Korea called the statement “meaningful” but urged North Korea to restore communication channels before any talks between the two countries could be arranged.

The lines of communication remained dormant for about 15 months, and their recovery could serve as a yardstick for judging how serious North Korea is with its offer for conditional talks.

Seoul’s Unification Ministry said Tuesday that North Korea remains unresponsive to South Korean attempts to exchange messages through the channel. [lt/uh]

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