A+ A-

Seoul: N. Korea fires two ballistic missiles, one possibly fails

TOKYO, July 1 (KUNA) -- North Korea fired two ballistic missiles in a northeastern direction, Seoul's military stated, with one of the launches possibly failing and the missile falling inland within the country, as reported by Yonhap News Agency on Monday.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said one short-range ballistic missile was launched from South Hwanghae Province in western North Korea at about 5:05 a.m. (2005 Sunday GMT) and flew about 600 km, landing in waters off the North's northeastern city of Chongjin.
Another ballistic missile was launched from the same area at around 5:15 a.m. and flew only about 120 km, before its trail disappeared from radar.
JCS spokesperson Lee Sung-jun told a briefing in Seoul that the second missile may have flown abnormally during the early stage of its flight and that if it exploded in midair, its debris could have fallen inland.
"We are conducting a comprehensive analysis on various possibilities," Lee said when asked if the missile had exploded or fallen inland. He declined to comment on where it may have come down.
The US Indo-Pacific Command also condemned the launches while noting they did not pose an immediate threat to US personnel or territory, or to its allies.
The launch came a day after the North's Foreign Ministry denounced a joint exercise between South Korea, the US and Japan, saying the country would take "offensive and overwhelming" countermeasures against what it called an attempt to strengthen a military bloc.
The three-day exercise, which ended Saturday, involved fighter jets and warships, including a US aircraft carrier, in international waters south of South Korea's southern resort island of Jeju. (end) mk.aai