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(LEAD) N. Korea fires unidentified projectile into East Sea: JCS

North Korea 08:01 March 25, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS background, more info from 4th para)
By Choi Soo-hyang

SEOUL, March 25 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has fired at least one unidentified projectile into the East Sea, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Thursday.

Other details, including how many and what type of projectile was launched, were not immediately available.

It marks the North's second missile launch in a week after its firing of cruise missiles off the west coast over the weekend was belatedly made public the previous day.

Foreign media reported that the projectile could be a ballistic missile, citing the Japanese government.

North Korea last fired a ballistic missile in March last year.

While cruise missiles are not banned under U.N. Security Council resolutions on North Korea, ballistic missiles are subject to the international sanctions. Pyongyang has maintained a self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile testing since late 2017.

Thursday's launch came just a day after U.S. President Joe Biden said "nothing much has changed" despite the North's launch of cruise missiles Sunday and that he does not consider it a provocation.

Ballistic missiles have a much longer range than cruise missiles of the same size and move quickly along their flight path. Ballistic missiles are also deemed more threatening, as they are designed to deliver nuclear weapons.

The latest launch came as the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden was completing its North Korea policy review.

North Korea's First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui said last week any contact and dialogue with the U.S. can be possible only when Washington rolls back its "hostile policy" toward it.

The U.S. is scheduled to hold a security meeting with South Korea and Japan next week to discuss how to deal with issues involving North Korea.

This photo captured from the homepage of the Korean Central News Agency on March 22, 2020, shows the launch of a newly developed tactical weapon at an undisclosed location in North Korea the previous day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)


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