(ATTN: ADDS background in paras 4, 6-8)
By Oh Seok-min and Choi Soo-hyang
SEOUL, March 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korea fired three unidentified projectiles into the East Sea on Monday, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said, a week after the communist regime fired two short-range projectiles.
The projectiles were fired northeastward from areas near its eastern town of Sondok in South Hamgyong Province, the JCS said in a brief release. Other details, including their type, flight range and altitude, were not immediately available.
"Our military is monitoring the situation in case of additional launches and maintaining a readiness posture," the JCS said.
Sondok is where the North conducted the first known test of its super-large multiple rocket launcher in August. Last year, the North test-launched missiles 13 times amid the stalled denuclearization talks with the United States.
Last Monday, the communist country fired two projectiles from a super-large multiple rocket launcher after a three-month hiatus. It was believed to be part of its artillery strike drill for the wintertime exercise.
Pyongyang could have tested the super-large multiple rocket launcher system again, possibly to reduce the firing intervals for operational deployment.
The latest firings came just five days after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent a personal letter to President Moon Jae-in and wished him and other South Koreans good health amid the massive outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
Such a conciliatory gesture came as a surprise as Kim's younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, had issued a statement just the previous day blasting Moon's office as "gangster-like" and "foolish" for complaining about Pyongyang's recent projectile launches.
In its New Year's Day message, Pyongyang warned it will show off a "new strategic weapon" in the near future. Experts said the "strategic weapon" may mean an advanced type of its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) or a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).
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