North Korea test-launches additional short-range rockets


North Korea has test-launched 16 additional Frog short-range rockets into the sea off the east coast of the Korean peninsula on the second consecutive day, South Korea's joint chiefs of staff (JCS) have announced.

The test-firing represents the latest in a series of provocative launches conducted by Pyongyang in an apparent protest of ongoing joint military exercises between South Korea and the US, Yonhap News Agency reports.

North Korea had also test-fired 30 same Russian-made ground-to-ground projectiles from the same location on 22 March, without notifying civilian flights or vessels in the vicinity.

"The military has maintained vigilance against additional launches."

The JCS said in a statement: "The military has maintained vigilance against additional launches."

Meanwhile, South Korean Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok was quoted by Agence France Presse as saying that North Korea should stop actions that cause military tension.

"Provocative action made without any prior notifications... can pose significant danger to sea vessels and aircraft passing by the area," Min-Seok said.

Both South Korea and the US have criticised the missile launches, which North Korea claim to be for 'self-defence' defence.

A series of Scud ballistic missiles and artillery have been test-fired by the communist-state using multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) from its east coast since late February, in response to the annual Seoul-US war games.

Scheduled to run until mid-April, the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises have been routinely criticised and called a 'prelude for an invasion', by Pyongyang, despite the US's insistence that they are aimed at enhancing the alliance's operational readiness.

Defence Technology