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N. Korea fires 2 missiles on first day of S.K.-U.S. joint drill

N. Korea fires 2 missiles on first day of S.K.-U.S. joint drill

Posted March. 03, 2015 07:18,   


North Korea fired into the East Sea two short-range ballistic missiles believed to be the Scud C Missile on Monday, the first day of the South Korea-U.S. joint Key Resolve Drill. It is the first time in three years that the North fired missiles on the opening day of the Key Resolve military exercise.

According to Seoul’s Defense Ministry, the North fired two short-range missiles from transporter erector launchers (TEL) in the Nampo area in South Pyongan Province from 6:32 a.m. to 6:41 a.m. on the day. The missiles flew across inland areas of North Korea from west to east 493 kilometers and 495 kilometers, respectively, before falling into international waters some 50 kilometers south of the Galma Peninsula.

“Given that the highest altitude of the missiles as monitored by our long-range radar was about 130 kilometers, and the maximum speed was Mach 4.3, the missiles are believed to the Scud C group,” said a South Korean military source. The Scud Missiles are the North’s flagship short-range missiles, and have a maximum range of 350 kilometers to 700 kilometers depending on models.

“There were signs of the North’s provocation, including a ban on fishing by civilian fishing boats in the East Sea waters since last week,” said another Seoul military source. “We are paying attention for possible additional provocations by regarding the firing as military protest against the Key Resolve drill.”

“The North is apparently trying to gain the upper hand in future inter-Korean relations by holding South Korea and the U.S. responsible for escalating tension on the Korean Peninsula, and thus causing South-South conflict,” said Kim Min-seok, spokesman for South Korea’s Defense Ministry.

Prior to the missile launch on the day, the North said in a statement issued by a spokesman for the Chief of the General Staff at the People’s Army, “We will not leave the South Korea-U.S. joint drill unchecked. We will respond with relentless unleashing of fires.”