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JCS: N. Korea Fires Unidentified Short-range Projectiles

Hot Issues of the Week2019-08-04


South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff(JCS) said they detected two short-range ballistic missiles launched from the Kalma area near North Korea's eastern port city of Wonsan towards the East Sea at 5:06 a.m. and at 5:27 a.m. on Wednesday.

Both missiles, presumed to have been fired using a transporter erector launcher, are estimated to have traveled about 250 kilometers at an altitude of 30 kilometers. Both South Korean and U.S. intelligence authorities are currently analyzing all available information.

The latest provocations come just six days after Pyongyang fired two KN-23 short-range ballistic missiles from around the same area last Thursday.

Those projectiles were a variant of the Russian Iskander ballistic missile and flew about 600 kilometers at an altitude of around 50 kilometers before landing in the East Sea.

North Korea said last week's launches were a "solemn warning" to South Korea over Seoul's planned joint military drills with Washington next month and its purchase of U.S. fighter jets.

A JCS official said the latest projectiles appear to be similar to the ones launched last week, which authorities believe were a new type of guided missile that is capable of delivering conventional and nuclear payloads.

The missile’s apparent terminal guidance capabilities present a new obstacle for South Korea’s missile defense capabilities. The top office’s National Security Council(NSC) expressed deep concern over the launches, which they say hinder efforts to establish lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

The council vowed to continue diplomatic efforts to maintain momentum for dialogue with Pyongyang on denuclearization.

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