North Korea said last Saturday it had test-fired an unspecified new weapon in its sixth round of missile and other weapons tests in a response to regular US-South Korean military drills.
The Japanese government said North Korea appears to have fired missiles, but they caused no damage and did not land in Japanese territorial waters.
North Korea has fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, according to USA and South Korean officials, continuing a weeks-long campaign of tests amid rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
USA -led diplomacy to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons collapsed after President Donald Trump rejected North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's demand for widespread sanctions relief in return for partial disarmament steps during their second summit in Vietnam in February. But it gave no further details such as exactly what type of projectiles North Korea launched.
USA envoy on North Korea Stephen Biegun was in Seoul this week to discuss ways to get negotiations back on track.
"The projectiles flew roughly 380 kilometers, reached an altitude of 97 kilometers and hit a maximum speed of over Mach 6-point-5, which is about 8,000 kilometers an hour".
On Friday, North Korea's top diplomat called US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a "diehard toxin", saying: "We are ready for both dialogue and standoff". He confirmed that missiles fell outside Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone, and posed no immediate threat to Japan's security. "We are consulting closely with our Japanese and South Korean allies".
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Council members said South Korea will launch diplomatic efforts to make North Korea return to nuclear talks with the United States, according to the president's office.
The launch comes after Pyongyang made a scathing attack Friday on USA secretary of state Mike Pompeo, calling him a "diehard toxin" following the U.S. diplomat's comment that the U.S. would continue the "toughest" sanctions on the North until the reclusive state denuclearises.
North Korea's latest rhetoric over the US-South Korean military drills had focused on South Korea, not the United States.
U.S. President Donald Trump said recently that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had promised him that "this testing would stop" when joint military exercises with South Korea wrapped up.
Trump and Kim met again at the inter-Korean border in June and agreed to resume working-level negotiations.
However, South Korea's Joint Chiefs said it would share intelligence on the launches with Japan upon Tokyo's request.