North Korea fires 2 short-range ballistic missiles into East Sea

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea on Wednesday, South Korea's military said, in an apparent show of force ahead of its leader Kim Jong-un's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, News.Az reports citing foreign media. 

The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said it detected the launches from an area in or around Sunan in Pyongyang between about 11:43 a.m. and 11:53 a.m. The missiles flew some 650 kilometers each before splashing into the waters.

Pyongyang's latest saber-rattling came just before Russian media reported that Kim had met Putin at Russia's Vostochny Cosmodrome space center in the Amur region ahead of their expected summit later in the day.

The JCS strongly condemned the latest launches as "significant acts of provocation" that violate U.N. Security Council resolutions banning the North from launches using ballistic missile technology.

"While preparing for additional provocations from North Korea, our military is closely monitoring activities and signs from the country in close coordination with the United States," the JCS said in a text message sent to reporters.

The launches marked the first time the North has fired a ballistic missile while Kim is outside of the country, according to Seoul's unification ministry.

North Korea last fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea on Aug. 30. It also fired several cruise missiles off its west coast on Sept. 2.


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