north korea missile launch
A man watches a TV showing a file picture for a news report on North Korea firing two unidentified projectiles in Seoul, South Korea, August 6, 2019.Reuters

North Korea fired two short-range missiles on Friday, August 16, according to the South Korean military. The launch was done shortly after Pyongyang called South Korean President's vow to re-unify the Korean peninsula a "foolish" attempt.

South Korean Joint Chief Staff said North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles from a site near Tongchon city. The projectiles flew 230 kilometres at a maximum altitude of 30 kilometres. Officials claimed that the projectiles top speed was of approximately Mach 6.1.

The missiles appeared to be similar to the short-range missiles fired in the previous week, a US official told Reuters.

A statement released by Seoul said, "The intelligence authorities of South Korea and the United States are in the process of analysis and the South Korean military is closely monitoring military movements and maintaining a strong readiness stance".

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on his Liberation Day speech on Thursday called for peace talks and reunification of the two Koreas by 2045.

"In spite of a series of worrying actions taken by North Korea recently, the momentum for dialogue remains unshaken," he said.

Pyongyang rejected the claims a day later and called Moon's statements 'foolish and "reckless" in a statement released by the spokesperson for North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country.

"We have nothing to talk any more with the South Korean authorities nor have any idea to sit with them again," the statement said.

The statement also called Moon an "impudent guy" who is "overcome with fright" and said a dialogue between the two countries would be impossible considering South Korea's on-going military drills with the US. North Korea has repeatedly opposed its neighbour's defence relations with the US and warned against holding military exercises and purchase of F-35 stealth fighter jets from the US.

"It was senseless to think that inter-Korean dialogue would resume once the military drills with the United States were over," the spokesperson said.

The recent launch marked the sixth round of missile launched by North Korea since last month. A series of missile and rockets have been launched since Kim and Trump agreed at a June 30 meeting to revive stalled denuclearisation talks.

US President Donald Trump had played down the North Korean weapons launches last week and said and said that North Korea had not violated its commitment to the US. "The missile tests have all been short-range. No ballistic missile tests. No long-range missiles," he said.

While the aggressive military displays do not violate the agreement between the two countries, they violate the UN Security Council resolutions.