As Clock Runs Out on Dec. 31 Deadline, North Makes a Move

If launch is confirmed to be a missile test, it would be 13th since May
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2019 6:43 AM CST
South: North Korea Fired Projectiles Into the Sea
A woman watches a news program reporting North Korea's firing unidentified projectiles with a file image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019.   (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

North Korea hadn't launched a missile since Halloween; that may have changed on Thanksgiving. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the North fired two short-range projectiles from the country's east on Thursday. Both landed in the sea and were likely fired from a "super-large" multiple rocket launcher, per the South. CNN reports that if it is confirmed to have been a missile test, that would make it the 13th since May. The launch comes as the clock runs out on the Dec. 31 deadline Kim Jong Un set for the US to make a new proposal that would jumpstart their stalled denuclearization talks.

Reuters cites analysts who see the test as "a Thanksgiving reminder" of the progress it has made on its weapons front. CNN notes the timing may be no coincidence, as the North has in the past tested weapons on big American holidays, among them the July 4, 2017, test of an intercontinental ballistic missile. The AP frames the launch as a possible demonstration of "what would happen if Washington fails to meet [the] year-end deadline." As one analyst puts it to the Washington Post, "All in all, I think North Korea may be on a path toward more militaristic actions until the end of the year." (Read more North Korea stories.)

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