N Korea test-fired missile: Reports

North Korea test-fired a short- range missile off its west coast last week in the first such launch for 19 months, reports said.

Seoul: North Korea test-fired a short-
range missile off its west coast last week in the first such
launch for 19 months, reports said on Wednesday.

The North fired the KN-06 missile into the Yellow Sea
in the middle of last week; South Korea`s Yonhap news agency
quoted an intelligence source as saying.

The source said the North has apparently been trying
to increase the range of the KN-06 since last year and last
week`s launch seemed to be a test.

The defence ministry in Seoul had no immediate
comment.

JoongAng Ilbo newspaper also reported a test of the
KN-06, which has a range of 100-110 km.

It quoted a Seoul military official as saying the
launch appeared to have been planned before a series of
threats against South Korea last week from the hardline
communist state.

The launch, if confirmed, would be the North`s first
known test of short-range missiles since October 2009, when it
test-fired five KN-02 surface-to-surface missiles off its east
coast.

Pyongyang in the past has often scheduled such
launches for political effect.

Tensions on the peninsula are high following two
deadly border incidents last year which Seoul blames on its
neighbour.

On May 30, the North announced it would no longer deal
with the South`s conservative government.

And last Friday its military threatened retaliation
unless Seoul punishes troops who used pictures of Pyongyang`s
ruling dynasty as rifle-range targets.

PTI

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