The United States says it has seized a North Korean ship that was used to violate international sanctions. The incident was announced hours after North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range, or distance, missiles on Thursday.

    The "Wise Honest" is North Korea's second largest cargo ship. It was used to transport North Korean coal to China, Russia and other countries.
    “Wise Honest”号是朝鲜第二大货船,它被用于将朝鲜的煤炭运往中俄等国。

    American officials said it was detained during an April 2018 stop in Indonesia. The ship will be moved to American Samoa in the Pacific. Officials made the announcement just hours after North Korea fired the missiles. But they said the announcement was not related to the missile launch.

    North Korean missile launch

    South Korean officials said the weapons launched on Thursday traveled 420 kilometers and 270 kilometers before falling into the sea.

    It was the second weapons launch from North Korea in five days. It came as U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun visits South Korea. North Korea has also withdrawn from talks about its nuclear program with the U.S. since a meeting in Vietnam.

    "North Korea seemed to be discontented it could not reach a deal in Hanoi," South Korean President Moon Jae-in told broadcaster KBS. He was speaking of the February meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and American President Donald Trump.

    In the KBS interview, Moon also warned North Korea of the risk of a misunderstanding that could result from its actions. He said the South will explore ways to help bring back nuclear talks, including providing food aid to the North and pushing for a fourth meeting between Kim and Moon.

    What does Kim want?

    Yang Uk, a top research fellow at the Korea Defense and Security Forum spoke to Reuters. He said about North Korea, "I believe they will keep escalating by using what appear to be short-range missiles, something that will not cause the U.S. to react right away."
    韩国国防与安全论坛的高级研究员Yang Uk接受了路透社的采访,他谈到朝鲜时表示:“我认为他们会通过疑似短程导弹让事件逐步升级,这样做不会导致美国立即做出反应。”

    Harry Kazianis is with the Center for the National Interest in Washington. He said the new launches could only worsen the growing tensions. "North Korea has now made it clear it will not halt developing other parts of its military capabilities that threaten the region," he said.
    Harry Kazianis就职于华盛顿的国家利益中心。他说,朝鲜进行新的发射只会加剧日益紧张的局势。他说:“朝鲜现在已经明确表明,不会停止发展会威胁该地区的其它军事能力。”

    Cha Du Hyeogn is a visiting scholar at Seoul's Asan Institute for Policy Studies. He said North Korea is pressuring South Korea to turn away from the United States and support North Korea's position more strongly.
    Cha Du Hyeogn是首尔牙山政策研究所的访问学者。他说,朝鲜正在施压韩国远离美国,并更加支持朝鲜的立场。

    Cha added that by firing weapons that threaten South Korea but not the U.S., North Korea could be testing the Americans without causing the collapse of the nuclear talks.
    Cha Du Hyeogn补充说,朝鲜通过发射武器威胁韩国而不是美国,可能是在不引发核谈判破裂的情况下试探美国。

    The U.S. response

    A U.S. Defense Department spokesman said after the new tests: "We're aware of the reports and monitoring."

    Trump and his administration did not appear to express serious concern over the tests. Over the weekend, Trump wrote on Twitter that he believes a deal could be reached with Kim.

    The February meeting in Vietnam between Trump and Kim ended early without an agreement. The U.S. said Kim was only willing to give up North Korea's main nuclear structure at Yongbyon – instead of complete denuclearization. The North Korean leader also demanded that all sanctions against his country be ended.

    Trump said at the time, "Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn't do that."

    The United States and the United Nations increased sanctions on North Korea in 2017, after the country carried out a series of nuclear and ballistic missile tests. The sanctions have created economic difficulties for North Korea.

    I'm Caty Weaver.