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N. Korea fires short-range missiles ahead of April 15 general elections

N. Korea fires short-range missiles ahead of April 15 general elections

Posted April. 15, 2020 07:53,   

Updated April. 15, 2020 07:53


North Korea fired a barrage of short-range missiles into East Sea on Tuesday, a day before South Korea’s general elections. The launch, which came on the eve of North Korea’s late founder Kim Il Sung’s birthday, is part of the military actions stressed by Kim Jong Un and is intended to send a message to South Korea before the elections.

Multiple short-range missiles were fired northeastward from areas near Munchon between 7 a.m. and 7:40 a.m., said South Korean military authorities. The missiles reportedly flew over 150 kilometers before they fell into the East Sea. The projectiles are thought to be cruise missiles, according to the military. Unlike ballistic missiles, cruise missiles fly slower than the speed of sound at a low altitude to perform pinpoint strikes while maintaining a level flight.

It has been two years and 10 months since North Korea last launched cruise missiles. North Korea also launched Sukhoi-class fighter jets on Tuesday that fired air-to-surface missiles in areas near Wonsan. The South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae did not react nor convene a National Security Council (NSC) meeting in response to the launch. Back on June 8, 2017 when North Korea fired cruise missiles, President Moon Jae-in convened a NSC meeting immediately and condemned North Korea’s provocations. The South Korean military authorities briefed the media about the missile launch later on Tuesday.

Sang-Jun Han alwaysj@donga.com