North Korea ballistic missiles
Missiles being launched during a military drill in North Korea on May 10, 2019.Reuters via KCNA

The North Korean military fired two short-range missiles early on Thursday, July 25. It is the first missile test since leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump agreed to rekindle denuclearization talks.

Launched from North Korea's Wonsan city, the ballistic missiles flew about 430 km over the sea, reaching an altitude of 50 km before splashing down, a South Korean defence ministry official told Reuters. 

Signs of a probable missile launch were detected by South Korea who conducted detailed analysis with the United States, the presidential Blue House said in a statement. A senior US official told CNN that they are "aware of reports of a short-range projectile launched from North Korea" but declined to comment further.

The South Korean military is maintaining a defence posture and has been monitoring the situation as a preparation for an additional launch, said an official in the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

North Korea had fired ballistic missiles twice in May. The projectiles fired on May 9 travelled about 420 km and 270 km each. The National Security Office (NSO) will be meeting on Thursday to discuss the latest North Korean missile firings, the Blue House said.

US-North Korean denuclearisation

Tensions are likely to rise between Washington and Pyongyang as the military exercise casts doubts on the credibility of the denuclearization talks after Trump and Kim met at the Korean demilitarized zone (DMZ) in June.

The missile launches also took place a day after US National Security Advisor John Bolton visited South Korea on Wednesday to discuss strategic affairs. 

The US agenda of "unilaterally reneging on its commitments" by holding military exercises with South Korea is leading North Korea to reconsider its denuclearisation initiative, North Korean Foreign Ministry had warned earlier this month.

North Korean Foreign Minister and the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, are expected to meet on the sidelines of the Southeast Asian security forum in Bangkok next week. However, the diplomatic sources said nothing had been decided, reported Reuters.