N. Korea launches missiles ahead of Xi's Seoul visit

Breaking News June 29, 2014 00:00

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SEOUL - North Korea Sunday fired two ballistic missiles into the sea, Seoul's military said, the latest in a series of launches staged in an apparent show of force ahead of a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the South.

The North fired the missiles into the East Sea (Sea of Japan) from the country's east coast Sunday morning, a defence ministry official told AFP.

"Both landed in international waters beyond its sea border," the official said.

He did not elaborate on the type of the missile. But Yonhap news agency, citing a military official, said they were short-range Scud missiles with a range of about 500 kilometres (300 miles).

In Tokyo, Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera also told reporters that North Korea had launched a number of ballistic missiles.

He added that the Japanese government had lodged a protest with Pyongyang through its embassy in Beijing.

The launch came three days after Pyongyang fired what were believed to be three short-range missiles into the sea on Thursday. 

The North did not officially confirm Thursday's launch, revealed by Seoul's military. But a day later, the state-run Korean Central News Agency hailed what it called the successful test of "cutting-edge" and high-precision missiles, watched by leader Kim Jong-Un.


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