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15 Mar, 2013 14:31

North Korea test-fires two short-range missiles - reports

North Korea test-fires two short-range missiles - reports

North Korea's military has fired short-range missiles into the East Sea (Sea of Japan) in an attempt to counter-act joint US-South Korean military exercises, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

"The launch was seen as testing its capability for short-range missiles. It seemed to be conducted on a military-unit level, not at a national level," a military source within the South Korean government told Yonhap. It remains unclear whether North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un ordered the tests.

The missiles were reportedly KN-02 mobile missiles, which are launched from the back of SCUD-like trucks and have the shortest range of all North Korean missiles.

They are a domestic variant of the Syrian ‘Scarab A’ missile, and have a range of 120-140km. They are usually used to take out large building targets, and can carry a small, tactical, nuclear load.

The news comes just one day after Kim Jong-Un oversaw a live-fire artillery drill near the disputed Yellow Sea border with South Korea, as the South's prime minister visited the area.

North Korea has threatened to unleash a second Korean War - backed by nuclear weapons - in response to UN sanctions imposed after its third atomic test in February and joint South Korea-US military maneuvers, which began last Monday.

The threat has prompted South Koreans to brace for conflict, stocking up on food and other basic needs.