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Friday 10 May 2019 01.07 PM

SKorean military: NKorea's latest launches were missiles

South Korea, Missile, North Korea

Seoul, May : The US and South Korean militaries evaluated the two projectiles North Korea flew Thursday as short-range missiles, a South Korean military official said Friday, a day after the North's second launch in five days raised jitters about an unravelling detente between the Koreas and the future of nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.

The weapons flew 420 kilometers (260 miles) and 270 kilometers (167 miles), respectively, on an apogee of 45 to 50 kilometers (28 to 31 miles), according to Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff and Defense Ministry. The launches were seen as Pyongyang's brushback pitch toward Washington over deadlocked nuclear negotiations as they continue to struggle with mismatched demands in sanctions relief and disarmament.

North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency said Friday that leader Kim Jong Un helped guide the weapons tests on Thursday and learned about "various long-range strike means," but the statement from the propaganda services didn't specify the type of missiles fired.

Pyongyang's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper published photos that showed Kim, equipped with binoculars and smiling widely, observing the firing of rocket artillery and what appeared to be a short-range ballistic missile fired from a launch vehicle.

Experts say the missile was identical to the one the North launched on Saturday, which appeared to be a solid-fuel missile modeled after Russia's Iskander short-range ballistic missile system. The Rodong Sinmun photos showed the North used a tracked launch vehicle on Thursday, unlike Saturday when it used a wheeled vehicle. PTI

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