North Korea fires ballistic missiles into eastern waters

Seoul, March 10 (IANS) North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into its eastern waters in an apparent show of force against joint annual war games between Seoul and Washington and new harsher sanctions against Pyongyang, Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday.

Yonhap quoted the South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff as saying that two short-range ballistic missiles, believed to have been Scud missiles, were launched at 5:20 a.m. from the North Hwanghae province in North Korea’s western region, Xinhua reported.

The missiles flew about 500 km and landed in waters northeast of North Korea’s coastal town of Wonsan in the East Sea.

It marked the first time in 2016 that North Korean forces fired short-range ballistic missiles. Pyongyang fired off six rounds of its 300-mm multiple rocket launchers into eastern waters on March 3.

The firings of short-range missiles and artillery shells in the past week were seen as an apparent show of anger at the joint US-South Korea military exercises that kicked off on Monday in the largest-ever scale.

The drills, code-named Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, will run through April 30, mobilising a nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier and its attendant fleet, a nuclear-capable submarine and aerial tankers to refuel fighter jets.

The US show of military strength during the drills would come after North Korea’s latest nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.

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