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North Korea fires two short-range missiles, second such launch in less than a week Updated: 2014-03-04 06:28:12 KST

  North Korea fires two short-range missiles, second such launch in less than a week
South Korea's defense ministry remains on high alert after North Korea fired what are believed to have been two Scud-C short-range missiles into the East Sea early Monday morning.
The ministry said the missiles flew about 500 kilometers, which means they could hit targets in South Korea and Japan.
The launch comes just days after the North fired four short-range missiles from the same location.
Such launches of short-range missiles by Pyongyang are a common part of its regular military drills, but Seoul sees the latest string of launches as an intentional provocation in protest against annual joint military exercises between South Korea and the U.S.

"North Korea's short-range ballistic missile launch appears to be a typical two-sided tactic. The North seems to be intentionally ratcheting up tensions by firing the missiles during the Key Resolve exercises."

South Korea views North Korea's recent missile launches as a violation of UN Security Council resolutions, as a handful of UN sanctions ban the regime from using ballistic missile technology.
Experts say launches of this sort are considered a low-degree provocation compared to last year's saber rattling from Pyongyang, which included threats of nuclear war against Seoul and Washington.
Since they come amid thawing inter-Korean ties, experts say it could be a North Korean attempt to build its ground before entering another round of negotiations with the South.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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