JEJU, South Korea — North Korea fired a short-range missile off its east coast on Saturday, in a move likely to raise tensions as denuclearization talks with the United States remain stalled.
The North fired the missile from a location near Wonsan, a coastal town east of Pyongyang, its capital, at 9:06 a.m., the South Korean military said in a statement. It did not provide further details, saying that the authorities were still analyzing the data.
In mid-April, the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attended a test of what the country called a new type of “tactical guided weapon.” That and Saturday’s missile test signaled that Mr. Kim intended to escalate tensions in an attempt to gain leverage with the United States.
In February, Mr. Kim met for the second time with President Trump, hoping to win relief from sanctions in return for a partial dismantlement of his country’s nuclear weapons facilities. But the meeting collapsed after Mr. Trump refused to lift sanctions until North Korea relinquished all its nuclear weapons.
North Korea has since vowed not to buckle under international pressure even if its people have to survive on “water and air only,” state media said. Mr. Kim gave Washington until the end of the year to show more flexibility, or he said his country would seek an alternative to diplomatic negotiations.
North Korea has repeatedly said it would find “a new way” to defend its national interests if Washington does not ease sanctions. Analysts have speculated that the North might resume weapons tests.
After conducting its last intercontinental ballistic missile in November 2017, Mr. Kim announced a moratorium on nuclear and long-range ballistic missile tests. Although the short-range missile test on Saturday does not violate the self-imposed ban, it undermines what Mr. Trump has repeatedly described as his biggest diplomatic achievement with North Korea.
Experts said the April test was likely a demonstration of a conventional weapons system, possibly artillery or antiaircraft — and also a message directed by Mr. Kim to Washington that North Korea would continue to amass weapons while the diplomatic standoff continued.
Although the North did not specify what kind of weapon was used in the April test, there was no evidence it involved a nuclear detonation or an intercontinental ballistic missile.
This is a developing story and will be updated.