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(LEAD) N.K. fires off three ballistic missiles into East Sea

All Headlines 13:51 September 05, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS JCS official's comment in 4th para, background in paras 5-7)

SEOUL, Sept. 5 (Yonhap) -- North Korea on Monday fired off three ballistic missiles into waters off its east coast, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said, escalating tensions on the peninsula days ahead of its key anniversary.

The communist regime test-fired the three ballistic missiles from Hwangju in North Hwanghae Province at around 12:14 p.m., the JCS said in a text message.

The type of missiles fired and how far they flew was not made immediately available.

An official at the JCS said, "We are in the process of determining the type of the missiles and how long they flew."

The South Korean military has been keeping a watchful eye on any provocative moves by the North ahead of the anniversary of the establishment of the North's government on Sept. 9.

In early September 2014, Pyongyang escalated tensions on the Korean Peninsula by firing off two short-range ballistic missiles.

This undated Yonhap News TV image shows a ballistic missile fired from a ground launcher in North Korea. (Yonhap)

The North's missile launches took place as the summit meeting of the Group of 20 (G-20) advanced and emerging economies in Hangzhou, China, is taking place, and a day after Seoul's new North Korea human rights law went into effect. The law aims to improve the North's dismal human rights conditions.

In an earlier provocation, Pyongyang test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile in waters off its east coast toward Japan on Aug. 24 in an apparent protest against the Ulchi Freedom Guardian military drill between Seoul and Washington. The two-week command-and-control exercise ended Friday.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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