North Korea fires two ′unidentified projectiles′ | News | DW | 02.03.2020
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North Korea fires two 'unidentified projectiles'

The launch comes weeks after Pyongyang declared the end to a moratorium on long-range missile tests. It is also the country's first major weapons test of 2020.

North Korea fired two unidentified projectiles on Monday, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported on Tuesday. The projectiles were launched from the port city of Wonsan and fired into the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, weeks after Pyongyang declared the end of a moratorium on long-range missile tests.

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"Our country is monitoring the situation in case of additional launches and maintaining a readiness posture," South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

The launches were the first since North Korea carried out a series of weapons tests late last year. Pyongyang often described them as multiple launch rocket systems, although others called them ballistic missiles.  Following the tests, the country claimed to have a "new strategic weapon" at the beginning of 2020.

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At a party meeting at the end of December, Kim Jong Un declared that North Korea no longer considered itself bound by moratoriums on nuclear or intercontinental ballistic missile tests, and threatened a demonstration of a "new strategic weapon." That threat followed another in December in which Kim threatened to send a "Christmas gift" to the US if Washington failed to provide sanctions relief by the end of the year. 

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According to Yonhap, Monday's test was the first major weapons test in 2020, while the country test-launched missiles 13 times last year amid stalled denuclearization talks with the US.

In the past, Pyongyang has fired missiles capable of reaching the US mainland, and has carried out six nuclear tests.

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lc/stb (dpa, AFP)