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Russian senator points to political implications of North Korean missile launches

Yonhap News Agency earlier reported citing South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff that the DPRK fired several short-range projectiles towards the Sea of Japan
Head of the Russian Federation Council (upper house) Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS
Head of the Russian Federation Council (upper house) Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev
© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, May 4. /TASS/. New North Korean missile launches have political implications rather than a military-technical aspect, head of the Russian Federation Council (upper house) Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev said on Saturday.

Yonhap News Agency earlier reported citing South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff that the DPRK fired several short-range projectiles towards the Sea of Japan, which flew from 70 to 200 kilometers.

"One way or another, any [missile] tests in these circumstances have a political rather than a military-technical aspect," Kosachev wrote on Facebook. He stressed that these missile launches had been carried out "in the run-up to the visit by US Special Representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, to Japan and South Korea scheduled for next week."

"The signal is quite unambiguous. Pyongyang demonstrates that it is necessary to conduct negotiations with it, not with anyone else, and the pressure or intimidation scenario will not work. However, one would also like to see North Korea’s willingness to hold negotiations and put forward peace proposals," he stressed.

Pyongyang last conducted missile tests in November 2017. At that time, it tested its new Hwansong-15 missile, which reached an altitude of 4,475 kilometers and covered a distance of 950 kilometers. North Korea said after the launch that the new missile was capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and that the entire territory of the United States was within its reach.

In April 2018, Pyongyang announced it was halting tests of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles of various ranges in order to develop the socialist economy and improve living conditions of its citizens. Last May, North Korea eliminated the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, where six underground explosions had been conducted. Between 2016 and 2017, North Korea carried out nearly 40 ballistic missile launches.