SEOUL, May 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday his government and the United States view the projectiles North Korea fired earlier in the day as "short-range missiles" based on their flight distances.
Speaking during a special interview with public broadcaster KBS to commemorate the second anniversary of his taking office, the president said it's premature, however, to conclude whether Pyongyang violated U.N. Security Council resolutions prohibiting it from using ballistic missile technology.
Moon pointed out that the projectiles the North fired from its eastern coast last weekend flew a "relatively short" distance.
But one of the two projectiles it launched from Kusong, 160 kilometers northwest of the capital, Thursday traveled more than 400km before splashing into the East Sea, he added. The other flew around 270km, according to South Korea's military.
President Moon Jae-in speaks during a special interview with KBS at the presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, on May 9, 2019, in this photo provided by his office. (Yonhap)
He said the North appears to be demonstrating its displeasure with the breakdown of the Hanoi summit between leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump in late February. Pyongyang also seems to be trying to put pressure on Washington for the resumption of dialogue, he added.
On Seoul's possible food assistance for the impoverished communist neighbor, he hinted at a plan to ship rice, saying there's a huge amount of rice in stock in South Korea.
He also expressed hope for dialogue with political parties at home to discuss the humanitarian move.
Moon had phone talks with Trump on Tuesday, during which the U.S. president threw his weight behind Seoul's possible food assistance for Pyongyang.
As North Korea conducted another rocket launch after the discussions, Moon said, the government needs public consensus on the food aid issue.
Introducing his private conversation with Kim during their Panmunjom summit in April last year, Moon said the North's leader expressed his commitment to denuclearization "very frankly."