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Missile tests send adequate warning to US, South Korea: Kim

PYONGYANG (North Korean): North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un has said the latest series of missile launches by Pyongyang send “adequate warning” over the South Korea-US military drills.

State-run media reported on Wednesday that Kim made the statement as he inspected on Tuesday the launch of a new type of tactical guided missiles – the fourth test in 12 days.

KCNA said Kim had watched the launches, which verified the “war capacity” of the new armament.

Kim Jong Un noted that the said military action would be an occasion to send an adequate warning to the joint military drill now under way by the US and South Korean authorities,” KCNA said.

The drills are taking place despite Pyongyang’s warnings that the exercises would jeopardise nuclear negotiations between the US and North Korea.

US Defence Secretary Mark Esper met with his Japanese counterpart, Takeshi Iwaya, to discuss the latest developments in North Korea, as well as tensions in the South China Sea.

Esper visited Australia and New Zealand before arriving in Japan. He will travel to Mongolia and South Korea during the latter part of his Asia trip.

On Tuesday, Pyongyang fired two projectiles that “are assumed to be short-range ballistic missiles” into the sea, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said earlier.

US President Donald Trump last week downplayed North Korea’s launches calling them “very standard”, while adding that Kim would not want to “disappoint” him.

Trump and Kim held an historic summit in Singapore last year, where North Korea made a vague pledge on denuclearisation.