16:57 GMT +306 December 2019
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    A man watches a TV news program showing a file image of a missile being test-launched by North Korea, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea. (File)

    North Korea Fires 2 Suspected Short-Range Missiles – South Korean Military

    © AP Photo / Ahn Young-joon
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    It comes just days after reports surfaced that Pyongyang had fired short-range projectiles into the ocean from the DPRK's east cost in what is understood to be its first missile launch in 18 months.

    North Korea has launched two suspected short-range missiles, South Korea's military command reported on Thursday.

    Earlier in the day, the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff announced that an unidentified projectile was fired at about 4:30 p.m. (7:30 GMT) from northwest North Korea toward the east.

    South Korea expressed concerns about the reported missile test. The country's presidential office said in a statement that such acts are "not helpful at all" to efforts to intra-Korean reconciliation, as quoted by Yonhap News Agency.

    While Pyongyang is yet to comment on the matter, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said that the missiles were probably launched in a sign of protest against the United States after botched Trump-Kim talks in Hanoi in February.

    Last week, the North fired a number of rockets and at least one short-range ballistic missile from the coastal city of Wonsan into the ocean.

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    North Korean state media confirmed that leader Kim Jong-un had overseen live-fire drills of long-range multiple rocket launchers and a new short-range missile. North Korean officials said the drills were part of routine military training and were not meant to aggravate the situation in the region.

    The test marked the first time the North had fired a missile since November 2017, when it launched an intercontinental ballistic missile eastward over northern Japan.

    Pyongyang paused its nuclear and ballistic missile tests last April amid a thaw in relations between Pyongyang and both Seoul and Washington. North Korea has since taken part in several rounds of peace talks and dismantled purported key test sites for its missile and nuclear weapons  programmes.

    The latest round of de-nuclearisation negotiations between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump stalled in February. Trump explained that North Korea demanded a complete sanctions relief in exchange for only partial de-nuclearisation, although Pyongyang insisted that Kim asked for removal of some of the sanctions. Trump said last month that a third summit with Kim would be good, but no meeting has been officially scheduled so far.

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