North Korea fires three short-range missiles | News | DW | 18.05.2013
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North Korea fires three short-range missiles

South Korea’s defense ministry has said North Korea fired three short-range missiles from its east coast. The alleged launches follow months of threats from Pyongyang of impending war with the US and Seoul.

"North Korea fired short-range guided missiles twice in the morning and once in the afternoon off its east coast," the South Korean Defense Ministry said by telephone. The missiles were fired into the Sea of Japan.

The official said the purpose of the launch remained unknown and would not speculate whether they were part of a test or training exercise.

"In case of any provocation, the ministry will keep monitoring the situation and remain on alert," the official said.

Pyongyang conducts regular launches of its short-range missiles, which have the capability to hit targets in South Korea.

Tensions had recently begun to cool on the Korean Peninsula after months of threats following fresh UN sanctions against North Korea for its third nuclear test in February. Under the resolutions, the North is banned from testing ballistic missiles.

In March, North Korea tested two short-range missiles off its east coast amidst near daily warnings of impending war with Seoul and the United States.

Pyongyang conducted a successful launch of a long-range missile last December, claiming it put a weather satellite into orbit. However, the US and its allies condemned the launch, which they believe was a test of technology that could one day deliver a nuclear warhead.

hc/kms (Reuters, AP, AFP)