North Korea Test-Fires Missiles Into Sea

Analysts think Pyongyang sending message to US again

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 18, 2013 7:24 AM CDT

(Newser) – North Korea apparently felt things were getting a little too calm of late and launched three short-range missiles into the sea off its eastern coast today, reports the BBC. Notably, those tests did not include the firing of the longer-range Musudan missile, which theoretically could hit the US. Generally, short-range tests by Pyongyang are "fairly routine," says the New York Times, but because of all the recent rhetoric, today's test seems provocative, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"Analysts said the launches were likely intended not only as a protest against the joint South Korean-US military drills in the East Sea earlier this week, but also as a political gambit aimed ultimately at drawing a dialogue offer from the US," writes Kyong-Ae Choi. (President Obama promised last week that those kinds of manipulative moves by the North wouldn't work anymore.) Still, the AP says "tentative" international diplomacy remains in the works to ease tensions on the peninsula, the latest example being the visit to the North this week by an adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

South Koreans watch TV news showing a footage of North Korean missiles on a military parade.
South Koreans watch TV news showing a footage of North Korean missiles on a military parade.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
In this 2012 file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves at a ceremony in Pyongyang.
In this 2012 file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves at a ceremony in Pyongyang.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
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