News / Asia

US Downplays N. Korean Short-Range Missile Launch

Military truck carrying missile during ceremony marking 60th anniversary of Korean War armistice, Pyongyang, July 27, 2013.
Military truck carrying missile during ceremony marking 60th anniversary of Korean War armistice, Pyongyang, July 27, 2013.
VOA News
The United States is downplaying North Korea's launch of four short-range missiles off its east coast.
 
Pentagon spokesman U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren Thursday confirmed reports of North Korean missile tests, but said the U.S. military does not consider the launch a provocative action.
 
"We've seen these types of missile tests fairly regularly," he said. "It's a short-range Scud missile which they are allowed to test. Nevertheless, we always call on the North Koreans to refrain from provocative action."
 
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It is not uncommon for North Korea to test-fire short-range missiles. Such tests are believed to partly serve as political messages to the South.
 
Pyongyang's government has not commented on the latest launches, which come as Seoul and Washington conduct large-scale joint military exercises. The North views the drills as an unacceptable provocation.
 
Both sides are on heightened alert during the drills. Following a South Korean military exercise in 2010, North Korea shelled a South Korean island, killing four people.
 
The launch also comes just days after North and South Korea resumed family reunions between those separated by the 1950 Korean War. It was the first time such reunions have been held since 2010, raising cautious hopes of improved inter-Korean ties.
 
The two Koreas remain in a technical state of war following the conflict, which ended in a truce and not a formal peace treaty.
 
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: gfmucci
February 27, 2014 9:08 PM
I suppose these missile launches won't be considered "provocative" until they are fired from a freighter 40 miles off the US coast 100 miles over DC with a newly minted Iranian or N. Korean nuke.


by: David from: USA
February 27, 2014 1:44 PM
N.Korea is destabilizing the region. They are also encouraging Japan to up their "military". We should talk to China about this and discuss how China should maintain security if Kim were overthrown.

In Response

by: Anonymous
February 27, 2014 8:27 PM
Japan is more more dangerous than N.Korea

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