North Korea launches two missiles, defies U.N. ban

Military officials applaud together with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, during the Unhasu concert...

Military officials applaud together with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, during the Unhasu concert in Pyongyang, in this picture released by North Korea's KCNA news agency on April 16, 2013. REUTERS/KCNA

REUTERS

, Last Updated: 9:44 AM ET

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into seas east off its coast on Sunday, South Korea's military said, defying a U.N. ban on the isolated country testing such weapons.

The launch came days before Chinese President Xi Jinping's scheduled state visit to South Korea. China is the main benefactor of the North, which is also under sanctions for conducting nuclear tests.

North Korea is also due hold talks with Japan this week to work out the details of Pyongyang's plan to reinvestigate the fate of Japanese citizens kidnapped by the reclusive state decades ago.

The missiles, which appeared to be Scud class, were launched from an area on the east coast of the peninsula and flew about 500 km (310 miles) before crashing harmlessly into the water, an official for the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

The test firings on Sunday came three days after the North launched three short-range projectiles into the waters off its east coast, which flew about 190 km (120 miles) and landed in the sea.


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