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(LEAD) N. Korea fires 2 ballistic missiles into East Sea: JCS

Defense 13:30 September 15, 2021

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead with latest info; ADDS more details throughout, photo)

SEOUL, Sept. 15 (Yonhap) -- North Korea fired two ballistic missiles into the East Sea on Wednesday, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

The unidentified type of missiles were fired from central inland areas of the North on Wednesday afternoon, and the South Korean and the U.S. intelligence authorities are analyzing details for additional information, the JCS said in a release.

"Our military maintains a full readiness posture in close cooperation with the U.S.," the JCS said.

Further details were not immediately available, such as exactly where the missiles were fired and their flight range.

The latest test is the second ballistic missile launch by the North so far this year, and the fifth known major weapons test if those involving cruise missiles are taken into account. It also came just three days after the North test-fired a new type of long-range cruise missile.

On Monday, the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that the country had made a successful test with "a strategic weapon of great significance" over the weekend, indicating that the new weapon has a nuclear capability.

Pyongyang has heightened military tensions in recent weeks. Last month, it warned of a "major security crisis" in protest against the combined summertime military exercise between South Korea and the United States.

The North has also shown signs of restarting a plutonium-producing nuclear reactor at its mainstay Yongbyon complex.

Under the U.N. Security Council resolutions, North Korea is banned from all ballistic missile activity.

A new type of tactical guided missile is launched from the North Korean town of Hamju, South Hamgyong Province, on March 25, 2021, in this file photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency. South Korea's military said the previous day that the North fired what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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