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Secretary of Defense Esper is set to visit South Korea within the next few days
North Korea has reportedly tested more missiles in the Sea of Japan. This is the second such test in a week.
Here's what we know
According to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, the missiles were likely KN-23s. Reuters reported that these types of short-range missiles are designed to fly low and move in a pattern designed to evade anti-missile defense systems.
During this test, the South Koreans said that the North Korean missiles traveled 155 miles at an altitude of 18 miles. The two missiles were tested within 20 minutes of each other.
"North Korea's actions do not help ease military tensions, nor do they help keep the momentum for talks that are underway," South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told reporters, according to Reuters. He added that North Korea needed to stop conducting these launches.
Japanese officials said that these tests would not prevent them from trying to have a summit with the North Koreans without preconditions, as they had previously planned.
These tests also come just days before newly-minted Secretary of Defense Mark Esper heads to Seoul, South Korea.
President Donald Trump has had two summits with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, and in June became the first sitting U.S. president to ever visit the country. However, while Kim had signed a statement at the first summit promising his "unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," there has been evidence from multiple sources that Kim has still been keeping his nuclear weapons program alive.
The second summit between Trump and Kim broke down after Kim demanded that all sanctions on his country be lifted.
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