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Pyongyang launches three short-range missiles – South

Pyongyang launches three short-range missiles – South
South Korea’s Ministry of Defense has detected three launches of short-range guided missiles by North Korea, it said.

Two launches were fired on Saturday morning and another one in the afternoon, reports Yonhap news agency. The missiles were fired from the east coast into the Sea of Japan, the report says.

They were likely shore-based anti-ship KN-2 missiles, the shortest-range of the kind that North Korea has, South Korean media believe.

The KN-02 Toksa is North Korea’s version of the Soviet-made OTR-21 Tochka tactical ballistic missile, which Pyongyang is thought to have reverse-engineered from a Syrian-supplied original. It has an estimated range of between 120 and 140km.

Japan confirmed the report of the launches, saying its military had detected them too.

The South’s military says it is maintaining high level of readiness amid the developments.

The Korean Peninsula is emerging from the latest period of high tension, which started after the North conducted its third nuclear test in February. The test was met with condemnation and a new round of sanctions by the UN Security Council.

South Korea and the US conducted massive war drills shortly after the test, with the US sending some of its most powerful military hardware in a demonstration of strength. Pyongyang called the buildup a provocation and threatened to use its nuclear arsenal, if attacked. The North says the aggressive stance of Washington and Seoul justifies its development of nuclear weapons.