SKorea: NKorea Fires 6th Projectile 05/20 07:14
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- North Korea fired short-range projectiles into
its own eastern waters Monday for a third straight day, Seoul officials said.
The North said it was bolstering deterrence against enemy attack.
North Korea regularly conducts short-range missile tests. Analysts say the
recent launches appear to be weapons tests or an attempt to get U.S. and South
Korean attention amid tentative signs of diplomacy after soaring tensions that
followed U.N. sanctions aimed at a North Korean nuclear test in February.
The two projectiles fired by North Korea on Monday had similar trajectories
as four previous launches over the past two days, according to officials at
Seoul's Defense Ministry and Joint Chiefs of Staff. Officials were analyzing
whether the projectiles were missiles or rockets fired from a large-caliber gun
North Korea may be developing, the officials said on condition of anonymity
citing department rules.
Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told reporters earlier Monday that
South Korea is taking seriously whatever weapons North Korea develops because
it could attack the South. He said artillery guns with a larger caliber will
likely have more destructive power.
South Korea urged North Korea to behave responsibly, while the U.S. said
threats or provocations would only further deepen the North's international
North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea on Monday
called South Korean and U.S. criticism an "intolerable challenge" that is
deepening tension. It said it conducted "rocket launching tests" on Saturday
and Sunday as part of drills to bolster deterrence against what it calls U.S.
and South Korean plots to launch nuclear strikes against North Korea. It didn't
comment on Monday's firing.
North Korea has a variety of missiles but Seoul and Washington don't believe
the country has mastered the technology needed to make nuclear warheads small
and light enough to be placed on a missile capable of reaching the U.S.
The Korean Peninsula officially remains in a state of war because the
1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.