Seoul: The latest in a series of launches ordered by leader Kim Jong-Un amid rising military tensions, North Korea Today fired five short range missiles into the sea off its east coast. The launches come just days after the North test-fired two medium-range missiles in what the UN Security Council described as an “unacceptable” violation of UN resolutions.
Tensions have been soaring on the divided Korean peninsula since the North carried out its fourth nuclear test on January 6, followed a month later by a long-range rocket launch that was widely seen as a disguised ballistic missile test. The Security Council responded earlier this month by imposing its toughest sanctions on North Korea to date.
In recent weeks Pyongyang has maintained a daily barrage of nuclear strike threats against both Seoul and Washington, ostensibly over continuing large-scale South Korea-US military drills that the North sees as provocative rehearsals for invasion. An official with South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the five short-range missiles were launched from near the eastern city of Hamhung, beginning just before 3:20pm (0620 GMT), and landed in the East Sea (Sea of Japan).
He said analysts were still gathering intelligence on the precise missile type. The North had fired two short-range missiles into the East Sea on March 10, using what state media described as a new high-calibre multiple rocket launcher. Existing UN sanctions ban North Korea from conducting any ballistic missile test, although short-range launches tend to go unpunished.