North Korea fires two short-range missiles 300 miles into the sea from its east coast weeks after similar tests sent tensions soaring in the region
- South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said an unidentified projectile was airborne
- It was launched near the city of Wonsan on North Korea’s eastern coast
- A U.S. defence official confirmed the South’s report of a ‘short range’ missile
- The news comes after the South accused Pyongyang of firing missiles in May
North Korea fired at least two unidentified projectiles early on Thursday from an area near Wonsan, on North Korea’s eastern coast, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
The projectiles flew around 267 miles, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, but did not elaborate further. A U.S. official also confirmed a ‘short range’ projectile was fired.
The news comes after similar weapons testing was carried out in May, amid soaring tensions in the region.
This would be the first launching of projectiles reported since President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met at the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas at the end of June.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits a submarine factory in an undisclosed location in an image released by the North’s propaganda machine yesterday
Satellite image after North Korea tests a new missile on May 4, 2019
North Korea’s last weapons testing was in May, which included both short-range missiles as well as smaller rockets.
At the time, Kim oversaw the first flight of a previously untested weapon – a relatively small, fast missile experts believe will be easier to hide, launch and manoeuvre in flight.
On Tuesday, state news agency KCNA reported Kim inspected a large, newly built submarine, accompanied by missile programme leaders.
It potentially signaled continued development of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) programme.
Denuclearisation talks between North Korea and the United States have stalled after a second summit between Trump and Kim in Vietnam in February broke down.
The news comes after the South said the rogue state had fired off two missiles from a base on the north-west coast in May.
Sanctions against the North over its nuclear and missiles programmes remain in place.
Experts have estimated the size of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal at anywhere between 20 and 60 warheads.