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Chad O'Carroll has written on North Korea since 2010 and writes between London and Seoul.
Update at 10:50 and 16:00 KST: This article has been updated to include more details on the launch from South Korea’s military and the Blue House response.
North Korea launched what is presumed to be two short-range ballistic missiles from its east coast on Sunday morning, South Korea’s Joint Chief of Staff (JCS) said.
The missiles were fired with a 20-seconds-gap from the town of Wonsan in the country’s south-eastern Kangwon province at 06:10 local time, the JCS reported, flying 230 kilometers at an altitude of 30 kilometers.
“Such military action by North Korea is highly inappropriate at the time when the world is experiencing hardship due to COVID-19; we urge it to stop immediately,” South Korea’s military said.
Tokyo’s NHK said it did not land in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
“The Japan Coast Guard is calling on ships to be on the alert,” NHK added.
South Korea’s Presidential Blue House told reporters that an emergency video meeting was held, with the director of the Office of National Security, Minister of National Defense, and the chief of National Intelligence Service joining the call to discuss the North’s launch.
Including Sunday, data on the NK Pro Missile Tracker shows that North Korea has conducted four rounds of missile tests in 2020 so far.
Launches this year have focused on short-range, tactical missile types, including those launched from large-caliber multiple rocket launchers.
The tests have mostly been overlooked by the U.S. despite defying United Nations sanctions, due to the ongoing coronavirus situation and their short-range distance.
Jeongmin Kim contributed reporting
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Update at 10:50 and 16:00 KST: This article has been updated to include more details on the launch from South Korea's military and the Blue House response.
North Korea launched what is presumed to be two short-range ballistic missiles from its east coast on Sunday morning, South Korea's Joint Chief of Staff (JCS) said.