(2nd LD) N. Korea fires 2 ballistic missiles into East Sea: S. Korea military
(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with military's explanation; CHANGES photo)
SEOUL, Dec. 18 (Yonhap) -- North Korea fired two ballistic missiles into the East Sea, the South Korean military said Sunday, the latest in a series of launches that raised tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said that it detected the launches from the Tongchang-ri area, North Pyongan Province, between 11:13 a.m. and 12:05 p.m. It did not provide other details.
"While strengthening our monitoring and surveillance activities, our military is maintaining a full readiness posture in close cooperation with the United States," the JCS said in a text message sent to reporters.
The launch came a month after the North fired an intercontinental ballistic missile thought to be capable of reaching the whole of the continental U.S.
The previous day, the North commemorated the 11th anniversary of the death of Kim Jong-il, the former leader and father of current leader Kim Jong-un.
The latest saber-rattling could be Pyongyang's reaction to last week's passage of a U.N. resolution calling for global efforts to improve human rights conditions in the North, observers said.
On Friday, Japan's Cabinet also endorsed a key security document that embraced "counterstrike capability" that would pave the way for the country to launch a counterattack should it and its ally, the U.S., come under attack, possibly from the North.
This year, the North has fired more than 60 ballistic missiles, marking a single-year record.
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