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North Korea Fires Two Missiles Into East Sea

#Hot Issues of the Week l 2019-05-12

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ⓒYONHAP News

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff(JSC) says North Korea fired two unidentified projectiles at around 4:30 and 4:50 p.m. respectively on Thursday.

The military said that the projectiles are believed to be short-range missiles.

If the projectiles are officially identified as short-range ballistic missiles, Thursday's launches would mark the first time in over a year and five months that the North has violated a series of UN Security Council resolutions that ban the regime from launching ballistic missiles.

The projectiles were launched in an eastward direction from Kusong, North Pyongan Province located in the northwestern part of the Korean Peninsula.

The military said one projectile flew around 420 kilometers and the other some 270 kilometers away from the launch site before both landing in the East Sea.

The JCS continues to closely analyze the nature of the projectiles.

The launch took place just five days after North Korea fired some 20 rockets and at least one tactical guided weapon in the same direction. North Korea described Saturday’s drill as defensive in nature.

Seoul and Washington chose not to denounce the unexpected military move last week in an apparent bid to keep Pyongyang on the current dialogue track, which has been stalled since the collapse of the Hanoi summit in February.

In the wake of the live-fire drill Saturday, President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump held telephone talks and agreed to greenlight Seoul’s provision of food aid to the North.

But with the South Korean military suspecting that the latest projectiles the North launched on Thursday may have been short-range missiles, it remains to be seen if the planned food aid will be delivered.

South Korean presidential spokesperson Ko Min-jung said that the North’s move is not helpful in reducing military tensions and improving cross border relations.

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