Trump calls North Korea's recent missile launches 'standard stuff'

The South's Joint Chiefs of Staff had no other immediate details of Thursday's launch

It was used to transport North Korean coal to China, Russia and other countries.

The latest tests were swiftly followed by US test-launches of the intercontinental ballistic missile Minuteman III over the Pacific and the Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) off Florida.

North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range missiles on Thursday in its second such test in less than a week, and the United States said it had seized a North Korean cargo ship as tensions again mounted between the two countries.

With two missile launches in the space of a week, North Korea is treading a fine line between increasing pressure on the U.S. and not derailing their nuclear negotiations - all the while giving itself room to escalate, analysts say.

North Korea has also withdrawn from talks about its nuclear program with the USA since a meeting in Vietnam.

Pyongyang's latest move "is a pressuring action to steer the nuclear talks in a direction it desires", South Korea's President Moon said in an interview marking his first two years in office.

North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un has ordered his force on high alert as their recent exercise coincided with a missile test in the United States.

North Korea last conducted a major missile test in November 2017 when it flight-tested the Hwasong-15 and demonstrated the potential capability to reach deep into the USA mainland. The announcement has no connection with the North's missile activities, a USA official said.

The South Korean military official said the South Korean and United States militaries are jointly analyzing more details from the launch, including whether the missiles fired on Thursday were the same weapons the North tested on Saturday.

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"The relationship continues. I know they want to negotiate, they're talking about negotiating".

Harry Kazianis, of Washington's Center for the National Interest think tank, said the launches could only worsen tensions.

An unarmed Trident II D5 missile launches from the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Rhode Island off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, May 9.

"Under these conditions, in order to stop North Korea's wrong assertions and avoid misinterpretations in South Korea and the United States, Seoul needs to postpone the delivery of humanitarian aid to Pyongyang until the security situation is improved".

Cha added that by firing weapons that threaten South Korea but not the U.S., North Korea could be testing the Americans without causing the collapse of the nuclear talks. Over the weekend, Trump wrote on Twitter that he believes a deal could be reached with Kim.

The vessel was owned by a subsidiary of a North Korean shipping company that is controlled by the country's military and is on a Treasury Department sanctions list, officials said.

Trump said at the time, "Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn't do that".

Seventy countries have urged North Korea to scrap its nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and related programmes, decrying the "undiminished threat" posed to world peace. "And North Korea's future strategy will be to raise questions about ensuring its security", Cheong Seong-Chang said.

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