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N. Korea fires two short-range ballistic missiles fired towards East Sea Updated: 2020-03-29 15:28:22 KST


North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Sunday from its eastern coastal city of Wonsan towards the East Sea at around 6:10 AM.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said they recorded a flight distance of some 230 kilometers and a maximum flight altitude of some 30 kilometers.
The missiles were launched from transporter erector launchers, which are used to move the missiles to different locations, and they were fired some 20 seconds apart.
The Joint Chiefs urged the North to refrain from such military action as the international community struggles to deal with the difficulties arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A local expert says the recent series of weapons tests by the North are part of its strategic weapons program planned years in advance that had been stalled temporarily in 2018 to support its denuclearization talks with Washington.

"Normally there would be a series of South Korea-U.S. combined military exercises between February and April, and the North had corresponding exercises, so it's typically a very intense period for them."

The expert added that despite South Korea and the U.S. having postponed their combined exercise this year due to the coronavirus outbreak, North Korea is expected to continue with similar short-range weapons tests this year as part of maintaining its military readiness and to continue developing weapons for operational deployment.
This is North Korea's fourth major weapons test this year.
A South Korean military official said that like the previous three rounds, the latest one could be part of the North's artillery strike drill for its wintertime exercise.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.
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