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N. Korea hints at more missile launches to counter S. Korea-U.S. drills

2017/03/03 14:32

SEOUL, March 3 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Friday threatened to conduct more missile firings in protest of the ongoing joint military exercise between South Korea and the United States.

The Rodong Sinmun, the ruling party's official newspaper, said in a commentary that "new types of strategic weapons will soar" if Seoul and Washington continue their annual war drills, which the North claims to be a preparation for a war against it.

"The (planned) test-firing of our new strategic weapons is a given right of a sovereign state to enhance its self-defense capabilities. It is natural and necessary to protect the national security and interests from the U.S. nuclear threats," the paper said.

On Feb. 12. Pyongyang test-fired a new intermediate ballistic missile powered by a solid-fuel engine, which is more powerful and harder to detect than the liquid-fueled rockets.

South Korean and U.S. troops on Wednesday kicked off the two-month Foal Eagle exercise involving ground, air and naval forces.

The allies plan to start the Key Resolve computer-simulated command post exercise on March 13 for a two-week run.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr

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