Trump backs aid for starving North Koreans

The pointer on Google Maps below shows the location of the Sino-ri missile base. The country initially reported Saturday that a single missile was sacked, but later issued a statement saying "several projectiles" had been launched and that they flew up to 125 miles before splashing into the sea toward the northeast.

According to U.S. think tank Beyond Parallel, the Sino-ri missile base is one of the North's oldest and it provides nuclear and conventional first-strike capabilities against targets throughout South Korea and most of Japan.

David Maxwell, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, warned the USA not to give in to North Korea's demands in the wake of the tests.

It is immediately unknown how Kim will respond to Japan's proposal.

The United States has given no sign of willingness to budge on sanctions and on Thursday the Justice Department announced the seizure of a North Korean cargo vessel it said was involved in the illicit shipping of coal.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was pictured watching the weekend drills and expressed "great satisfaction".

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe takes part in a meeting with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (not pictured) on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, April 28, 2019.

It remains to be seen, however, whether Kim will agree to a meeting with Abe.

Meanwhile, in an interview with German media published Tuesday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said, "The sound of gunshots has disappeared from the skies, seas and land of the Korean Peninsula". Trump explained that North Korea demanded a complete sanctions relief in exchange for only partial de-nuclearisation, although Pyongyang insisted that Kim asked for removal of some of the sanctions.

It came in the wake of talks with the United States and South Korea stalling in February, and raised alarms in both countries, which have been seeking to entice the North into abandoning its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

Tokyo plans to propose to North Korea a summit without asking for a guarantee of progress on the issue of Pyongyang's past abduction of Japanese nationals, Kyodo reported, citing government sources. This is the second missile test in a week after more than a year without any testing.

On that day, Andrei Lankov, a North Korea expert at Kookmin University in Seoul, predicted to Asia Times that - absent a United States response - North Korea would likely unleash a series of calibrated provocations.

"We will throw our support behind him so we can see a concrete path toward dialogue", Yamaguchi said.

Saturday saw Pyongyang test what Seoul has described as several "short-range projectiles", marking what experts widely agree was the country's first missile launch since November 2017.

North Korea on Thursday launched two short-range missiles, marking the second weapons test in less than a week and further straining USA -led efforts toward denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

  • Leroy Wright