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North Korea Fires Several Ballistic Missiles - South Korean Military

© REUTERS / KCNA North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the rocket launch (File)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the rocket launch (File) - Sputnik International
The South Korean military is reporting that North Korea fired several ground-to-ship missiles from Wonsan, Gangwon Province, early Thursday morning, according to Yonhap News Agency.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said, "North Korea fired multiple unidentified projectiles, assumed to be surface-to-ship missiles, this morning from the vicinity of Wonsan, Gangwon Province." 

The South Korean military reports that the projectiles, later described as short-range surface-to-ship cruise missiles, traveled around 200 kilometers, and that South Korean President Moon Jae-In has been notified.

The Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the U.S. ballistic missile defense system launches during a flight test from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, U.S - Sputnik International
US Missile Defense Chief: US Must Assume it Is in ‘Range’ of North Korean Nuke

This development comes hours after US Missile Defense Agency head Vice Admiral James Syring told a House Armed Services Committee meeting that the progress Pyongyang is making in its missile capabilities is a cause for "great concern" and that the US should assume it is within range of a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

This is North Korea's 10th missile test this year and its fifth since Moon, who has repeatedly expressed a desire to dial back tensions between the neighboring states, took office.

North Korea has continued its ballistic missile and nuclear weapon development program despite sanctions from the UN Security Council and international calls to cease its activities. Less than a week ago, the UN expanded its sanctions against the country after a unanimous vote by the Security Council. 

The US, a frequent target of North Korean rhetoric, recently tested its ground-based missile defense system to hone its defense capabilities against intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). The system, which has a checkered record, was deemed successful by the Pentagon in its most recent tests. 

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