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N Korea fires ballistic missiles towards sea off east coast

19-12-2022

PYONGYANG: North Korea has fired two medium-range ballistic missiles towards the sea off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, according to South Korean and Japanese officials.

South Korea’s Joint Chief of Staff said the launches, fired about 50 minutes apart, took place from North Korea’s Tongchang-ri area on Sunday morning but gave no further details.

The Japanese defence ministry said the missiles flew to an altitude of 550km (342 miles) and covered a range of 250km (155 miles).

Japan’s Vice Defence Minister Toshiro Ino said the missiles appeared to have landed outside the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and there had been no reports of damage so far.

The latest launches come three days after Pyongyang said it tested a “high-thrust solid-fuel motor” engine, which experts said would allow quicker and more mobile launches of its ballistic missile arsenals.

The test of the new missile engine was overseen by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and conducted at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in Tongchang-ri, which has been used to test missile technologies, including rocket engines and space launch vehicles, according to state media.

In recent months, North Korea has test-fired a barrage of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, including last month’s launch of its developmental, longest-range liquid-fuelled Hwasong-17 ICBM, which is designed to carry multiple warheads and has been dubbed the “monster missile”. (Int’l Monitoring Desk)

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