N. Korea Fires Missiles Amid South-US War Games

Believed to be short-range Scud missiles, launched into the sea
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2014 8:30 AM CST
In this photo taken on July 27, 2013, North Korean soldiers parade through Kim Il Sung Square with their missiles and rockets.   (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
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(Newser) – A North Korean ship slipping across the South's borders was apparently just the opening act. Days after South Korea began its war games with the US, North Korea has fired four, suspected short-range missiles from its southeastern coast toward the sea, a South Korean defense official said, per Yonhap News. "We first believed they were an improved version of the KN-02 ground-to-ship missile, but we now believe they are Scud series missiles, as they have a range of more than (125 miles)," says a government source.

While the AP notes that missile launches are routine in the North, a Scud launch would be North Korea's first since 2009. South Korea notes it "will maintain tight vigilance in preparation for additional launches or any military provocation from the North," while an expert tells the AFP that the launch is "mainly about sending a message—about the drills and also its anger over the recent UN rights report ... I don't think it will take any further steps and risk escalating tensions. Pyongyang is more interested in seeing some benefit from its compromise on the reunions." (Read more North Korea stories.)

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