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North Korea test-fires four short-range missiles into Yellow Sea

The missiles were a North Korean response to joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea.

By
Elizabeth Shim
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was likely present at the test launch of four short-range ballistic missiles on April 3, 2015. The weapons were fired into the waters of the Yellow Sea off the western coast of North Korea. Photo courtesy of Yonhap News.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was likely present at the test launch of four short-range ballistic missiles on April 3, 2015. The weapons were fired into the waters of the Yellow Sea off the western coast of North Korea. Photo courtesy of Yonhap News.

SEOUL, April 3 (UPI) -- North Korea test-fired four short-range missiles into the Yellow Sea on the western coast of the Korean peninsula on April 3, and analysts say it's likely North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was present at the launch.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the test comes after a morning launch of one short-range missile on April 2. South Korea's Chosun Ilbo reported both tests involved short-range missiles that travel no further than 87 miles.

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The April 3 test missiles originated from Tongchang-ni, in North Korea's northwestern Pyonganbukto province and occurred between 4:15 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

South Korea said one missile could have crashed into land on North Korean territory.

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Judging by the missiles' trajectory, range and speed, analysts said it is likely the missiles are North Korean KN-02 short-range ballistic missiles. They had been launched, Seoul said, in response to the Foal Eagle joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea.

Foal Eagle runs to April 24.

The South Korean announcement follows news of rising tensions between North and South Korea that are preventing constructive dialogue between Pyongyang and Seoul.

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On Thursday an unnamed South Korean official told Voice of America that he is skeptical of the possibility of an inter-Korea summit during Russia's Victory Day celebrations in May.

Russia previously had confirmed Kim Jong Un is scheduled to attend the ceremony. South Korean President Park Geun-hye has been invited to Moscow but her response has not been confirmed.

The South Korean source said Seoul remains open to dialogue, but the talks should be "substantive."

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A total of 20 countries are due to attend the Moscow event on May 9, in order to observe the 70th anniversary of the former Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

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