SEOUL, May 18 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Saturday launched three short range guided missiles into the sea off the Korean Peninsula's east coast, South Korea's Ministry of Defense said.
The ministry said it detected two launches in the morning, followed by another in the afternoon. It said the missiles were fired in a northeasterly direction away from South Korean waters.
"A more detailed analysis will be needed but the missiles launched may be a modified anti-ship missile or the KN-02 surface-to-surface missile derived from the Soviet era SS-21 that has a range of about 120 kilometers," a Seoul official said.
He said judging by the trajectory and distance traveled, those missiles fired were not medium- or long-range ballistic missiles.
The communist country had deployed two Musudan intermediate-range missiles on its east coast along with medium-range Rodong missiles in April in an apparent countermeasure against joint South Korea-U.S. military exercises under way but they were later pulled back.
The Musudan is estimated to have a range of up to 4,000 kilometers that could reach the U.S. territory of Guam, while Nodong with a reach of 1,500 kilometers can cover all of South Korea and parts of Japan.
"All missiles launched fell into the sea," a South Korean Defense Ministry official said, requesting that he not be identified. He speculated that the launch is likely part of a military exercise or a missile test.
Defense Ministry officials said they have beefed up monitoring on North Korea and are maintaining a high-level of readiness to deal with any risky developments.
The launches come a little over two months after the North fired off two short-range missiles into the sea off its east coast.
The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said it has been closely watching the North's move to test-launch the missiles.
"All information has been shared real time between the presidential office and the defense ministry," Cheong Wa Dae spokeswoman Kim Haing said.
She said South Korea does not consider the North's latest missile launches a serious threat to its security.
"The situation is being monitored carefully," she said.
- Seoul's proposed DMZ peace park faces tough road ahead
- S. Korea-U.S. summit to push N. Korea to review policy options
- S. Korea, U.S. agree to stronger deterrence against N. Korea
- S. Korea-U.S. summit meeting unlikely to draw out N. Korea: analysts
- Future of Kaesong industrial complex in doubt over escalating tensions
- N. Korea in tug of war over dialogue terms with S. Korea, U.S.
- Park, Obama face crucial test on chemistry amid N.K. headache
- (News Focus) N. Korea's hacking capabilities advance
- N. Korea's hacking capabilities advance
- (News Focus) N. Korea ratchets up tension by restricting Kaesong operations
- N. Korea cautious in choosing timing for any attack: U.S. experts
- N. Korea fueling tensions to seek diplomatic solution: sources
- N. Korea's state-sponsored hackers emerge as global threat
- Three years after naval vessel sinking, N. Korea poses greater security threat
- N.K. leader's front-line inspections fuel military clash concerns
- N. Korea threatens war in defiance of U.N. resolution
- 'Strongest sanctions' on NK, output of artful U.N. diplomacy
- China holds key to implementing U.N. sanctions against N. Korea
- N. Korea again resorts to brinkmanship to put pressure on U.S.
- U.S. aim of denuclearizing N. Korea in question
- Park vows 'trust-building' with N. Korea despite nuke brink
- Park faces key tasks on relations with N. Korea, regional powers
- All eyes on China for tougher sanctions against nuclear N. Korea
- Nuke test stirs debate on how to handle N. Korea's WMD program
- Obama's N. Korea policy put to crucial test again
- (NK N-test) N. Korea's nuke test jeopardizing inter-Korean relations
- Nuke test aims to solidify Kim's control, take upper hand in int'l arena
- N. Korea's nuke test presents major security challenge for Park, Obama
- N. Korea's nuke test feared to foil Park's overture of engagement: experts
- N. Korea's nuclear tension overshadows new gov't in Seoul
- N. Korea ramps up threat of another nuclear test
- U.N. action on N. Korea late yet meaningful: official
- In second term, Obama faces tough issues with Seoul
- Inter-Korean relations effectively severed under Lee administration
Home > NorthKorea