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North Korea 'fires more projectiles into sea'

Pyongyang has fired two short-range missiles off its east coast, in the fourth such test in two weeks, South Korea says.

Last updated: 09 Jul 2014 02:24
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North Korea has conducted an unusually large number of test-firings of missiles and rockets this year [Reuters]

North Korea has launched two projectiles into the sea off its east coast, in an apparent continuation of a recent series of missile and artillery test launches, South Korean has said.

"North Korea fired two short-range missiles presumed to be Scud-type ones ... from a site in Hwanghae province in a northeasterly direction," South Korean spokesman Um Hyo-sik was quoted as saying by the Yonhap news agency.

"They flew some 500km and landed in international waters." The exercise would represent the fourth such test in two weeks.

North Korea has conducted an unusually large number of test-firings of missiles and rockets since earlier this year, including launches before of Chinese President Xi Jinping's recent visit to South Korea.

Analysts say the tests were a protest against Xi becoming Beijing's first leader to come to the South before the North, the AP news agency reported.

Pyongyang is also angry over regular US-South Korean military drills, and the North's short-range launches are seen as a message to its neighbours and Washington not to interfere in its build-up of nuclear bombs and other defence capabilities.

South Korea has rejected a set of proposals from North Korea that Pyongyang said were meant to reduce tensions, including the cancellation of the war drills between Seoul and Washington.

Seoul officials said the North must first demonstrate that it was serious about nuclear disarmament if it truly wanted peace.

The two Koreas remain divided along the world's most heavily fortified border.

The Korean Peninsula officially remains in a state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

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