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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

People's Daily Online

DPRK fires short-range projectiles after UN resolution passes

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 11:41, March 03, 2016

SEOUL, March 3 -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) fired six short-range projectiles on Thursday morning in an apparent show of force after new tougher sanctions resolution on Pyongyang was passed at the UN Security Council.

Seoul's defense ministry spokesman Moon Sang-Kyun told a regular press briefing that DPRK forces fired short-range projectiles at about 10 a.m. (0100 GMT) from its Wonsan area into the East Sea.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff later confirmed that six projectiles were launched, flying about 100-150 km eastward.

Whether the projectiles were short-range missiles hasn't been identified, but those were believed to have been KN-01 short-range missiles or shells from 300-mm multiple rocket launchers.

The spokesman said that the South Korean military maintained a full defense readiness while closely monitoring the moves of DPRK forces.

It marked the first time in 2016 that DPRK forces fired short-range projectiles. Pyongyang launched three KN-01 missiles from Wonsan area into eastern waters in June last year, while test-firing 300-mm multiple rocket launchers several times in 2015.

A South Korean military official was quoted by Yonhap news agency as saying that possibility is running high for the DPRK to conduct further provocations after the launch of short-range projectiles.

Pyongyang hadn't reportedly issued no-navigation, no-sail zone before the Thursday launches, indicating possible DPRK provocations without any warning.

South Korea and the United States are scheduled to kick off their joint annual war games from March 7 that will run for more than a month through April. It is widely expected to cause strong backlashes from the DPRK, which has denounced it as a dress rehearsal for northward invasion.

The U.S. forces are expected to mobilize strategic assets during the war games, including a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, which is expected to raise the already heightened tensions further on the Korean peninsula.

The DPRK's launches of short-range projectiles came just hours after new UN Security Council resolution on Pyongyang was unanimously approved in New York over its recent nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.

Pyongyang tested what it claimed was its first hydrogen bomb on Jan. 6 and launched a satellite on a long-range rocket, which was condemned by outsiders as a banned test of missile technology, on Feb. 7.

Describing the new UN resolution as one of the toughest and most effective non-military measures in seven decades of UN history, South Korea said it will step up efforts at international cooperation to encourage the DPRK to dismantle its nuclear program 'completely, veritably and irreversibly.'

The new resolution was the fourth UN sanction against Pyongyang's nuclear tests. Previous resolutions were adopted in 2006, 2009 and 2013 each when the DPRK tested its atomic devices.

Two separate UN resolutions were also approved in 2006 and 2013 when the DPRK tested a prohibited missile technology by launching long-range rockets.

Seoul's foreign ministry said that new sanctions against Pyongyang would eliminate loopholes in previous resolutions to focus on cutting off resources to finance the DPRK's nuclear and missile programs.

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