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(LEAD) N. Korea fires 2 short-range ballistic missiles toward East Sea: S. Korean military

Defense 08:43 March 14, 2023

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with JCS' explanation, more details)

SEOUL, March 14 (Yonhap) -- North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) toward the East Sea on Tuesday, Seoul's military said, a day after South Korea and the United States kicked off a regular military exercise.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said that it detected the launch from the Jangyon area in South Hwanghae Province between 7:41 a.m. and 7:51 a.m. It did not provide other details.

"While strengthening its monitoring and vigilance in preparation against the possibility of additional launches, 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 latest launch came after the North fired what it claimed to be two "strategic cruise missiles" from a submarine Sunday and conducted a "fire assault drill" three days earlier.

On Monday, Seoul and Washington began their 11-day Freedom Shield exercise, which is to proceed with the concurrent field training exercise, called the Warrior Shield.

Pyongyang has decried the exercises as a rehearsal for a war of aggression against it and threatened to take "overwhelming" action against military activities by the allies.

Its hardening rhetoric has stoked concerns that the reclusive regime could continue to ratchet up tensions with more powerful provocations, such as the launch of a solid-propellant intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and a nuclear test.

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This photo, carried by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on March 13, 2023, shows the North's firing of two "strategic cruise missiles" from a submarine in waters off its east coast the previous day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

This photo, carried by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on March 13, 2023, shows the North's firing of two "strategic cruise missiles" from a submarine in waters off its east coast the previous day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

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