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N Korea fires ballistic missiles amid US-S Korea military drills

ANI  |  Asia 

North Korea once again fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea on Saturday, South Korea's military said, likely in a show of protest against the ongoing joint military exercises between Seoul and Washington.

The projectiles were fired at 5:32 a.m. and 5:50 a.m. (local time) from its eastern coastal city of Hamhung in South Hamgyong Province into the East Sea and both flew around 400 kilometers at a maximum altitude of 48 kilometers and a top speed of around Mach 6.1, Yonhap news agency reported after quoting the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

"We see high chances of additional launches, as North Korea is now carrying out summertime drills and the combined exercise between South Korea and the US is underway," the JCS said in a release.

"Accordingly, we have been closely monitoring the situation, while maintaining staunch military readiness," it added.

It marked the fifth such launch since July 25 when the North fired two short-range missiles. The latest launch came just four days after the North fired two projectiles believed to be the newly developed short-range ballistic missiles known as KN-23 into the East Sea.

Today's missile tests marked the fifth such launch since July 25 when Pyongyang had fired two short-range missiles. The latest launch came just four days after the North fired two projectiles believed to be the newly developed short-range ballistic missiles known as KN-23 into the East Sea.

Such military moves appear to be a show of force against the combined military exercise between South Korea and the US, the presidential office of South Korea, also known as Cheong Wa Dae, said, adding they also aim to test the capabilities of its newly developed short-range ballistic missiles.

Seoul and Washington kicked off their summertime military exercise Monday, with the main part of the computer-based "Combined Command Post Training" set to begin Sunday for a 10-day run.

The launches hours after US President Donald Trump said he received a "beautiful" three-page letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and predicted that they will have more talks to try resolving the nuclear standoff.

"Such a series of launches are feared to heighten military tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and we urge North Korea to stop such activities," Cheong Wa Dae said in a release.

In Washington, a senior US government official said Washington is aware of the latest firing and is monitoring the situation closely with the allies.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, August 10 2019. 09:31 IST
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