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Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s leader, attends a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Friday, March 1, 2019.
North Korea fired unidentified projectiles on Thursday, according to the South Korean military, less than a week after leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the test-firing of multiple rockets and missiles.
“We confirmed that North Korea fired two rounds of missiles towards (an) eastern direction from Northern Pyongan Province at 16:29 p.m. and 16:49 p.m. (local time). Estimated travel distances were 420 km, 270 km, respectively,” a South Korean military official told NBC News. The Northern Pyongan Province is an area located to the west of the country.
The South Korean and U.S. authorities are conducting analysis for more detailed information and NBC News also said that the chief national security advisor in South Korea is monitoring the situation.
“(The) South Korea military has reinforced surveillance and vigilance for any more North Korean missile launches, and is maintaining fully preparedness by cooperating with the U.S.,” the official added.
The suspected short-range missiles appear to have been launched from a location near a missile base in Sino-Ri, according to the Dow Jones news agency. This is about 130 miles north of the demilitarized zone.
Last week, North Korea launched a number of rocketsand at least one short range missile from its east coast into the ocean. Thursday’s launch would be the third time North Korea has fired a missile since talks collapsed betweenPresident Donald Trumpand Kim in February.
The two leaders met in Hanoi, Vietnam,to discuss the possibility of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, but the talks ended abruptly without a deal. That summit had followed the historic meeting between Kim and Trump in Singapore last June. North Korea had pledged to cease its nuclear and long-range missile tests back in April 2018, but that promise was thrown into doubt whensatellite images surfacedsuggesting that a long-range missile test site was undergoing “rapid rebuilding.”
On Wednesday, North Korea’s foreign ministry commented on Saturday’s launch, saying the “strike drill” was “regular and self-defensive.”
“The recent drill conducted by our army is nothing more than part of the regular military training, and it has neither targeted anyone nor led to an aggravation of the situation in the region,” a spokesperson said in a statement to the state-run KCNA news agency.
The two launches in quick succession will likely accentuate tensions between Washington and Pyongyang and follow ameeting between Kim and Russian President Vladimir Putin last month. The Russian leader told reporters that Kim wanted to denuclearize but needed “security guarantees” to do so.
—Reuters and CNBC’s Jeff Daniels contributed to this article.