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Iran Press TV

North Korea test-fires 7 surface-to-air missiles: Seoul

Iran Press TV

Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:31AM

The South Korean Defense Ministry says the North has fired seven surface-to-air missiles into the sea off its east coast after Seoul and Washington wrapped up the first round of their annual joint war games.

On Friday, a South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the early Thursday test was supervised by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

"We see this as another show of force by the North related to the exercises," the South Korean spokesman said.

The move by Pyongyang comes after its southern neighbor launched its eight-week long annual joint Foal Eagle military exercises with the United States on March 2.

Foal Eagle involves air, ground and naval field drills, with some 200,000 Korean and 3,700 US troops.

South Korea and the US kicked off their second round of joint drills, called Key Resolve, on Friday. It is expected to end on April 24.

The annual exercises usually increase tensions between the two neighbors, which remain technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a ceasefire rather than a peace treaty.

Earlier this month, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea in protest against the drills.

Pyongyang has denounced the maneuvers as a practice for invasion, calling for them to be called off to avoid military tensions between South and North Korea and improve bilateral ties.

However, Seoul and Washington say the exercises are for defense.

The US has close to 30,000 troops permanently stationed in South Korea.


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