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North Korea fires two unidentified projectiles

Posted March. 03, 2020 07:53,   

Updated March. 03, 2020 07:53


North Korea fired two short-ranged projectiles Monday from Wonsan, Gangwon Province. The provocation, which is the first one of the year, comes 95 days after the North test-fired its super-large multiple rocket launcher on November 28 last year. Pyongyang has effectively answered President Moon Jae-in’s call for cooperation to fight COVID-19 together with a show of force, which is interpreted as a move to demand a more proactive stance from Washington in denuclearization talks.

According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at 12:37 p.m. on Monday, North Korea launched two short-ranged unidentified projectiles in Wonsan with an interval of 20 seconds. They peaked at the altitude of 35 kilometers and traveled 240 kilometers northeast into the waters of the East Sea. The intelligence authorities of South Korea and the U.S. are analyzing those apparent short-ranged ballistic missiles (SRBM).

Pundits say that the provocation is aimed at solidifying the regime’s footing in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis and the current standoff between Pyongyang and Washington. “The firing is considered in continuance with the joint strike drills conducted on Friday,” said a military official from South Korea.

Kyu-Jin Shin newjin@donga.com · Sang-Jun Han alwaysj@donga.com