N. Korea fires 5 short-range projectiles into east waters

SEOUL — North Korea on Monday fired a total of five short-range projectiles into its eastern waters in an apparent show of force toward the ongoing U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises.

Four projectiles were launched from North Korea’s northeastern region in South Hamgyong province for 22 minutes through 3:41 p.m. (06:41 GMT), an official at South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) told Xinhua.

Yonhap news agency reported that one more projectile was launched later into eastern waters, citing the JCS.

All of the projectiles flew about 200 km and landed in waters off the country’s east coast. In consideration of the flying distance, those are estimated to have been North Korea’s new 300-mm multiple rocket launchers.

The firings came just three days after Pyongyang fired off two medium-range Rodong ballistic missiles into the east waters on Friday.

North Korea launched six rounds of 300-mm multiple rocket launchers into east waters on March 3, firing two more short-range Scud missiles on March 10.

The missile launches came as South Korea and the United States kicked off their joint annual war games on March 7. The Key resolve command post exercise ended last Friday, but the Foal Eagle field training exercise would last until April 30.

In response to the spring war games, Pyongyang warned of a pre-emptive, offensive nuclear strike against South Korea and the US mainland. Top North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had ordered continued tests of nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles capable of delivering the warheads to enhance nuclear attack capability.

The South Korean military is closely monitoring the moves of North Korean forces while maintaining a complete defense readiness for possible provocations. PNA/Xinhua / northboundasia.com