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North Korea fires projectile into eastern waters

By Hyung-Jin Kim

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 07:56 a.m. HST, May 20, 2013

SEOUL, South Korea >> North Korea fired a projectile into waters off its eastern coast Sunday, a day after launching three short-range missiles in the same area, officials said.

North Korea routinely test-launches short-range missiles. But the latest launches came during a period of tentative diplomacy aimed at easing recent tension, including near-daily threats by North Korea to attack South Korea and the U.S. earlier this year. North Korea protested annual joint military drills by Seoul and Washington and U.N. sanctions imposed over its February nuclear test.

The fourth launch occurred Sunday afternoon, according to officials at Seoul's Defense Ministry and Joint Chiefs of Staff. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity citing department rules, refused to say whether it was a missile or artillery round.

On Saturday, North Korea fired two short-range missiles in the morning and another in the afternoon. The U.S. responded by saying threats or provocations would only further deepen North Korea's international isolation, while South Korea called the launches a provocation and urged the North to take responsible actions.

The North has a variety of missiles but Seoul and Washington don't believe the country has mastered the technology needed to manufacture nuclear warheads that are small and light enough to be placed on a missile capable of reaching the U.S.

U.S. officials said the North has recently withdrawn two mid-range "Musudan" missiles believed to be capable of reaching Guam after moving them to its east coast during the recent tensions.

The Korean Peninsula officially remains in a state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. South Korea's Defense Ministry said Sunday it has deployed dozens of Israeli-made precision guided missiles on front-line islands near the disputed western sea boundary as part of an arms buildup begun after a North Korean artillery strike on one of the islands in 2010 killed four South Koreans.

Associated Press writer Sam Kim contributed to this report.

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CriticalReader wrote:
This is a new North Korean venture into aquaculture. The "projectile" was a kimchee pot. The North's ruling class is having increasing difficulty securing it's stash in storage holes on land. The starving peasants keep on digging them up. Plus, with the weather warming, the super chilled deep ocean water has the same effect as frozen dirt. The South is watching this carefully, as are other pacific rim nations. Greenpeace is particularly concerned about the effect of garlic on whales.
on May 19,2013 | 10:45AM
808warriorfan wrote:
MY KNEES ARE KNOCKING AND I NEED TO CHANGE MY UNDERWEAR.....THE NORTH KOREANS HIT THE WATER WITH A MISSILE.....now if they hit a target that was in the ocean that they were aiming at I'd be impressed.....MAYBE.....
on May 19,2013 | 11:59AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
The truth is that North Korea is now experimenting with launching pressure cookers towards the USA.
on May 19,2013 | 12:09PM
Uncleart66 wrote:
Please stop giving him our tax money please.
on May 20,2013 | 03:20AM
cojef wrote:
The young dictator just learned that bellicose rhetoric did not work, so now is embarking on more meaningful physical action by testing their military card. The high stakes poker has consequences, and bluffing will not work. You gotta know when to sleep. His future is numbered, there will be a assignation plot to depose him.
on May 20,2013 | 06:00AM
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