Seoul – North Korea appears to have fired two short-range missiles towards the Sea of Japan, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Thursday.
According to a statement, the projectiles flew an estimated 420 kilometres and 270 kilometres respectively, before they fell into the sea off the eastern coast.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff had earlier talked of “unidentified projectiles,’’ which were launched less than a week after the North said it test-fired multiple rocket launchers and guided weapons.
According to Seoul, the missiles were launched 10 minutes apart in the early morning near the city of Kusong, about 40 kilometres from Sino-ri, where the North operates a base for medium-range missiles.
Citing experts, Yonhap news agency reported that the latest projectiles may have been ballistic missiles or a new type of surface-to-surface missile that the country had probably tested five days earlier.
UN resolutions prohibit North Korea, which has repeatedly carried out nuclear tests, from launching short, medium and long-range ballistic missiles.
Such missiles are usually surface-to-surface missiles that can carry a conventional, chemical, biological or nuclear warhead.
If North Korea did test ballistic missiles, it would be a violation of the UN conditions.
South Korea did not immediately give any more details about the suspected missile type.
“It would be analysing data on the test together with the U.S.,’’ it said.
Tensions in the region are on the up again after a summit in Hanoi in February between the U.S. and North Korea failed to produce any results in the long-running efforts to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula. (dpa/NAN)