Accessibility links

North Korea Fires More Projectiles

  • VOA News

FILE - A tactical rocket lifts off during a firing drill of the KPA Strategic Force in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency.

FILE - A tactical rocket lifts off during a firing drill of the KPA Strategic Force in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency.

North Korea has fired two more short-range rockets off its east coast, the third such test in less than a week.

News of the launch came from South Korea, which said the projectiles landed harmlessly in the East Sea on Wednesday.

South Korean officials said the projectiles were fired from the city of Wonsan and had a range of 180 kilometers.

They are believed to be 300-millimeter KN-09 short-range rockets fired by a multiple rocket launcher.

Pyongyang test-fired two short-range missiles Sunday and launched two other projectiles Thursday in the same area.

The launches come a day before Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Seoul for talks expected to focus largely on the North's nuclear and missile programs.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei, on Wednesday dismissed suggestions that the launches were connected to Xi's visit.

"We have noted the relevant information. We hope all sides can do more to alleviate the situation on the peninsula and jointly safeguard its peace and stability. With regards to what you mentioned - the relevant launch and its connection to President Xi Jinping's visit to South Korea - I don't see any basis for this link," said Hong.

Xi has met twice with South Korean President Park Geun-hye since he took office. He has not met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

China, North Korea's only major ally, has been putting more pressure on Pyongyang to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The launches also come as Japan and North Korea hold talks in Beijing on Japanese citizens abducted by North Korean spies.

Japan's delegate to the talks on Tuesday condemned the missile tests, saying they violate United Nations resolutions against the North.

His North Korean counterpart defended the tests as legitimate and said Pyongyang does not recognize the U.N. sanctions in question.

The launches raise already heightened tensions between North and South Korea, which remain in a technical state of war following their 1950s conflict.

South Korea on Tuesday rejected as disingenuous a proposal by Pyongyang's National Defense Commission to lower tensions.

The commission proposed this week that Seoul cancel upcoming military drills with the United States, which the North views as preparation to invade.

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG