AP) – North Korea fired five short-range missiles off its east coast on Monday, news reports said, even as South Korea proposed working-level talks with its communist neighbor.
The reported launches were the first since the regime conducted a barrage of seven ballistic missile tests in early July, and come despite signs North Korea is reaching out to rival South Korea and the United States after months of heightened tensions over its missile and nuclear programs.
Ties between the divided Koreas had been soured after conservative South Korean President Lee Myung-bak took office early last year with a pledge to get tough with Pyongyang’s communist government. Tension on the peninsula further heightened after the North conducted a long-range rocket test in April and a second nuclear test in May.
Pyongyang, however, has recently reached out to Seoul and Washington. The regime toned down its threatening rhetoric, released detained South Korean and American citizens and pledged to resume key stalled joint projects with South Korea.
The Korean War ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty, which means that the two Koreas are still technically at war.