Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

North Korea 'launches projectiles'

A man at Seoul railway station watches a TV programme showing a file picture of a North Korean missile launch (AP)
A man at Seoul railway station watches a TV programme showing a file picture of a North Korean missile launch (AP)

North Korea launched two projectiles presumed to be ballistic missiles into the sea, South Korea said.

It was the latest in a series of test-firings seen as expressions of anger over its failure to win talks on receiving outside aid, and over ongoing US-South Korean military drills.

The projectiles were fired from the North Korean city of Kaesong near the border with the South and had a range of about 311 miles, said a South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff official.

North Korea regularly conducts test-firings, but this year has seen an unusually large number of launches.

South Korean officials have confirmed about 90 test-firings of missiles, artillery and rockets by North Korea since February 21. More than 10 of them have been ballistic launches.

North Korea has pushed South Korea to accept a set of proposals that it said would reduce bilateral tensions, including the cancellation of regular military drills between Seoul and Washington that Pyongyang insists are preparation for a invasion.

Many in South Korea have doubts over how sincere the North is about its push to reduce tensions, and analysts see the pressure for better ties as meant in part to eventually win outside aid and investment.

South Korea has rejected the North's proposals, saying it must first demonstrate that it is serious about nuclear disarmament if it truly wants peace.

North Korea probably possesses a small arsenal of crude nuclear bombs and is working to build an arsenal of nuclear-tipped missiles that could reach the US mainland.

The two Koreas are divided along the world's most heavily fortified border. The Korean Peninsula officially remains in a state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz