North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday said the country’s latest missile launches were a warning to the United States and South Korea over their joint military drills, AFP reported.

Kim spoke after he inspected the launch of a new type of missile – the fourth test in less than two weeks. He said the latest test was “an occasion to send an adequate warning to the joint military drill now underway by the US and South Korean authorities,” according to state news agency KCNA. The launches verified the “war capacity” of the “new-type tactical guided missiles”, he added.

On Tuesday, United States National Security Adviser John Bolton also reminded North Korea about the pledge to not resume tests of intercontinental-range missiles that threaten the United States. United States President Donald Trump had last week downplayed the launches, and said Kim would not want to “disappoint” him.

Last month, North Korea had warned that the military drills by the United States and South Korea could impact nuclear peace talks. The joint drills have been held for years but were scaled down after Trump’s historic first summit with Kim in Singapore last year to facilitate dialogue with Pyongyang.

A United Nations resolution bans North Korea from building or testing ballistic missiles.

US-North Korea dialogue

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump met for the first time on June 12, 2018, in Singapore, following which Kim committed to the “complete denuclearisation” of the Korean Peninsula. In response, Trump announced the suspension of Washington’s “very provocative” joint military exercises with South Korea.

Trump and Kim held a second meeting in Vietnam later in the year but it ended abruptly following a disagreement over sanctions imposed on North Korea. In March, North Korea promised further negotiations on its nuclear weapons with the United States despite both countries failing to reach a deal at the Hanoi summit.

Tensions escalated in May when Pyongyang fired short-range missiles for the first time since November 2017. Trump, however, dismissed concerns over the missile testing. The US-South Korea military exercises have since resumed, angering North Korea.