North Korea views its widely condemned July missile tests as a diplomatic miscalculation because of a harsher-than-expected international response, a South Korean lawmaker said on Wednesday.
The communist regime reached the "internal assessment" after reviewing the reaction from the international community, especially from South Korea and China, said Rep Choi Jae-cheon of the ruling Uri Party, citing information from "highly reliable people".
"North Korea's government thinks it failed to properly predict how South Korea and China would respond. That's what I heard," Choi said. He refused to disclose any more details on who gave him the information.
North Korea went ahead with the July 5 missile launches in defiance of repeated international warnings. This triggered harsh denunciations from countries around the world, leading to the adoption of a UN resolution calling for an international ban on missile-related dealings with the North.
China, a traditional ally of North Korea, backed the UN resolution. This apparently surprised the North, souring relations between the two countries.
South Korea cut off aid shipments to the North, although Seoul recently began sending rice and other relief supplies in the name of helping its communist neighbour recover from devastating floods.
Choi, a member of the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs and national security, said he believes North Korea is willing to return to the stalled six-party talks on its nuclear programme.
He cited a recent North Korean Foreign Ministry statement which said the country stands to gain more than lose from the nuclear talks.