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North Korea fires two more missiles into sea

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The United States has so far rejected North Korea's demands for sanctions relief in exchange for piecemeal deals toward partially surrendering its nuclear capabilities and urged Pyongyang to commit to completely relinquishing its nuclear and missile program. -South Korea drills that began earlier this month are a sign of Seoul's hostility against the North. Pyongyang views those exercises as a rehearsal for invasion, but Seoul and Washington characterize the drills, which have been scaled down from previous years, as purely defensive.

Joint US-South Korea drills have been held for years but were downsized to ease tensions with Pyongyang.

The South Korean military said the projectiles were fired from near the city of Tongchon of Kangwon Province into the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan.

Both flew around 230 kilometers at an apogee of 30 km and a top speed of around Mach 6.1, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

The statement by an unidentified government spokesman came hours before South Korea's military detected two projectiles North Korea fired into the sea to extend a torrid streak of weapons display that's apparently aimed at pressuring Washington and Seoul over their joint drills and slow nuclear negotiations.

The statement by the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country came a day after Moon said in a speech that the momentum for dialogue remains alive despite the series of "worrying actions taken by North Korea recently".

He wrote on Twitter early August 10, "In a letter to me sent by Kim Jong Un, he stated, very nicely, that he would like to meet and start negotiations as soon as the joint U.S./South Korea joint exercise are over".

Denuclearisation talks have been stalled, despite a commitment to revive them made at a June 30 meeting along the heavily fortified border separating the two Koreas between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump.

The weapons the North tested in recent weeks included a new rocket artillery system and what security analysts say are two new short-range mobile ballistic missile systems that would potentially expand its ability to strike targets throughout South Korea, including USA bases there.

The Defense Ministry in Tokyo said the projectiles did not land on Japanese territory or inside the country's exclusive economic zone and thus did not directly affect its security.

In a speech on Thursday, to mark the anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japan's 1910-45 rule, Moon had spoken of a goal of "achieving peace and unification by 2045", despite his single five-year term presidency ending in 2022.

The weapons the North tested in recent weeks included a new rocket artillery system and what security analysts say are two new short-range mobile ballistic missile systems that would potentially expand the North's ability to strike targets throughout South Korea, including USA bases there.

It criticized Moon for calling for peace even as the joint military exercises were taking place.

"North Korea makes it exceedingly hard to build trust when it interprets restraint as weakness and looks to exploit divisions within South Korea", said Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul.

In the Friday statement, North Korea said it has no intention to talk with South Korea again, adding that it would be a "senseless" hope to expect talks to resume when the allies' combined training is over.

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