North Korea tests short-range missiles as South Korea, US conduct drills

Herbert Rhodes
August 29, 2017

North Korea early on Saturday fired several short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast from its eastern Kangwon province, South Korea's military said.

China's President Xi Jinping pledged to make concerted efforts with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in to address differences between the two countries properly, the official Xinhua news agency said on Thursday.

Japan's military said the projectiles did not appear to be objects that could threaten Japan's safety.

Tens of thousands of South Korean and United States troops are taking part in the "Ulchi Freedom Guardian" joint military drills, a largely computer-simulated exercise that runs for two weeks in the South.

"(We) anticipate that the deployment of four additional launchers will be completed in the near future", he said.

Japan's top government spokesman says there is no direct threat to Japan following North Korea's latest test-launch of three short-range missiles.

He said the launches sent a signal that Pyongyang is still not prepared to back away from its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

After weeks of relative calm, North Korea has carried out three missile test launches, with US and South Korean officials describing them as "ballistic missiles" fired toward the East Sea, not far from Japan.

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"The military is keeping a tight surveillance over the North to cope with further provocations", the ministry added. It said earlier that the third missile appears to have blown up immediately.

"We understand that today's action indicated North Korea consistently continues developing nuclear weapons and missiles".

Shells hit islands standing in for South Korea's Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong islands while special forces landed in rubber boats or parachuted in and "wiped out the desperate enemy with various combat methods", the Korean Central News Agency said.

Solid fuel missiles are faster and easier to deploy, and harder to catch before they launch because there's a lot less to be done in terms of launch preparation.

Throughout the year, North Korea has conducted a series of ballistic missile tests.

Tensions had eased somewhat since a harsh exchange of words between Pyongyang and Washington after U.S. President Donald Trump had warned North Korean leader Kim Jong Un he would face "fire and fury" if he threatened the United States.

The North American Aerospace Command (NORAD) determined the missiles "did not pose a threat to North America".

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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