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North Korea tests new precision-guided missiles

By Hyung-Jin Kim

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 05:03 p.m. HST, Jun 26, 2014

SEOUL » North Korea said Friday that leader Kim Jong Un has guided the test launches of its newly developed precision guided missiles, in a possible reference to three short-range projectiles South Korean officials say the North fired toward its waters a day earlier.

South Korean defense officials said the projectiles fired from an eastern port city Thursday flew about 120 miles before harmlessly landing into the waters off its east coast. The exact type of those projectiles and the North's intentions weren't immediately known.

Along with its nuclear program, North Korea's missile program is a major regional threat, and the North's state media said Friday that the country tested what it calls "cutting- edge ultra-precision tactical guided missiles" and Kim watched the tests with top deputies and was satisfied with the results.

The North didn't say when the launches took place or how many missiles were fired, but they are likely the projectiles that Seoul says North Korea fired Thursday as there have been no other reported firings by North Korea in recent days.

South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said Friday that North Korea has been trying to upgrade its large-caliber multiple rocket launch systems in recent years and that those weapons' range has been slightly and gradually increased in each test-launch.

The North Korean media dispatch Friday called the latest missile launches "significant" because they were made at a time when the Democratic Republic of Korea is bolstering its national defense because the U.S. and South Korea are "going extremely reckless in the moves to isolate and stifle the DPRK and unleash a war of aggression."

Short-range test firings by North Korea aren't unusual, but a barrage of missile and artillery tests earlier this year boosted tension between the rivals. A North Korean artillery attack in 2010 killed four South Koreans on a front-line Yellow Sea island.

North Korea has in recent months threatened South Korea's leader, calling her a prostitute, and the South has vowed to hit North Korea hard if provoked. North Korea's rising anger coincided with annual joint military exercises by the U.S. and South Korea and a visit to Seoul by President Barack Obama. North Korea also test-fired two medium-range ballistic missiles and exchanged artillery fire with South Korea near a disputed boundary in the Yellow Sea.

The United States keeps about 28,500 troops in the South.

On Thursday, North Korea's army accused South Korea of firing shells into the North's waters near a disputed Korean sea boundary "The North Korean army in the front-line area is "full of the strong will of retaliation to punish the provocateurs to the last one by giving vent to their pent-up grudge," said the army statement carried by Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency.

Both Koreas routinely conduct artillery drills near the sea boundary, a scene of several bloody skirmishes in recent years.

The Korean Peninsula is still technically in a state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty.

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Holomua wrote:
I guess they want to hit Seth Rogen, and Seth Rogen only.
on June 26,2014 | 05:10PM
Papakolea wrote:
They aimed their "cutting- edge ultra-precision tactical guided missiles" at the Pacific ocean and were able to hit it...impressive.
on June 26,2014 | 05:27PM
808warriorfan wrote:
The North Koreans never miss when it comes to hitting the ocean. Every time that brat DICTATOR screams RETALIATION I have a need to change my underwear.....
on June 26,2014 | 07:10PM
localguy wrote:
"cutting- edge ultra-precision tactical guided missiles?" Really? NK news is so full of shibai it is laughable. NK is so far technically behind us it is like they are throwing rocks. Dear leader hasn't got a clue how fast his military would be a quick smite from our forces. Take out the leaders and watch the minions run for cover.
on June 26,2014 | 09:28PM
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