Anchor: Just hours after offering to resume working-level talks with the U.S., North Korea fired two unidentified short-range projectiles into the East Sea. The launch came 17 days after Pyongyang tested what it called a new “super-large” multiple rocket launch system.
Our Bae Joo-yon has more.
Report: The Joint Chiefs of Staff(JCS) announced that the North launched a projectile at 6:53 a.m. and another at 7:12 a.m. Tuesday morning toward the East Sea from South Pyongan Province, which runs along North Korea's west coast.
[Sound bite: Col. Kim Jun-rak - Joint Chiefs of Staff (Korean)]
"Our military detected two unidentified projectiles fired by North Korea from Kaechon, South Pyongan Province towards the east. The projectiles flew 330 kilometers, and South Korea and the US military are analyzing additional information."
The JCS assessed that the projectiles flew a maximum of 330 kilometers across land and sea, adding that further analysis is needed to determine more specific details, such as the projectiles’ maximum altitude and speed.
The last time the North launched projectiles was 17 days ago when it claimed to have tested what it called a new “super-large” multiple rocket launch system.
Tuesday’s launches mark the tenth such weapons test for the North this year, and eighth since July.
Experts believe the most recent projectiles are likely to be new short-range ballistic missiles, and that they appear to bear some sort of resemblance to the U.S. military's Army Tactical Missile System(ATACMS).
Authorities said the South Korean military is monitoring the situation in case of additional launches, while maintaining a readiness posture.
Following the launches, the presidential office convened an emergency National Security Council session chaired by National Security Office head Chung Eui-yong. The council expressed concerns about the North's continuous firing of short-range projectiles.
The meeting’s participants also inspected overall military and security situations on the Korean Peninsula in the wake of the launches, which came just hours after Pyongyang expressed a willingness to resume denuclearization talks with the U.S. in late September.
A senior U.S. government official said Washington is aware of the launches and is closely monitoring the situation. It remains unclear if or how Tuesday’s launches will impact North Korea's proposed timetable to resume talks.
Bae Joo-yon, KBS World Radio News.
[Photo : KBS]