Angry North Korea launches two ballistic missiles into sea

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 July, 2014, 9:51am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 July, 2014, 2:22am

North Korea launched two ballistic missiles into the sea yesterday, South Korea said, the latest in a series of test-firings seen as expressions of anger over the Pyongyang's failure to win talks on outside aid, and over US-Seoul military drills.

The missiles, believed to be Scud variations, were fired from Kaesong near the border with the South and had a range of about 500km, a South Korean military official said.

North Korea watchers said it was highly unusual for Pyongyang to fire missiles from a city just 20km from the heavily fortified border. The North usually test-fires missiles launched from its eastern port city of Wonsan, about 130km from the border.

North Korea regularly conducts test-firings, but this year has seen an unusually large number of launches. South Korean officials have confirmed about 90 test-firings of missiles, artillery and rockets by the North since mid-February. At least 10 of them have been ballistic launches.

North Korea recently has pushed South Korea to accept a set of proposals that it said would reduce bilateral tensions, including the cancellation of regular military drills between Seoul and Washington that Pyongyang has long insisted were preparation for invasion.