Kim Jong Un laughs after NK missile launches 070819 CREDIT KCNA.jpg
North Korea

North Korea Fires Two Projectiles Into Sea

Two unidentified projectiles were launched in what is thought to be the country’s first test of the year.

Kim Jong Un laughs after NK missile launches 070819 CREDIT KCNA.jpg

North Korea has fired what are believed to be two short-range ballistic missiles into its eastern sea.

It marks a resumption of weapons demonstrations after a hiatus that may have been forced by the coronavirus crisis in Asia.

The launches came two days after North Korea’s state media said leader Kim Jong Un supervised an artillery drill aimed at testing the combat readiness of units in frontline and eastern areas.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the projectiles were fired from an area near the coastal town of Wonsan and flew about 240 kilometres (149 miles) north east.

It said the South Korean and US militaries were jointly analysing the launches.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un handshake in North Korea
The move brings to an end a hiatus in missile testing that had coincided with diplomacy with Donald Trump (Picture: PA).

Mr Kim’s latest test is said to be aimed at boosting military morale, in a show of strength in the face of growing worries over potential Coronavirus outbreaks. 

Historically, North Korea has tended to step up missile testing in the Spring, in response to springtime military exercises between South Korea and the United States that it has described as invasion rehearsals.

In December Mr Kim expressed deep frustration over deadlocked diplomacy with the United States and said the country would not denuclearise as long as the US maintained its hostile policy on the country.

He also said a new "strategic" weapon would be unveiled soon and that they would no longer be bound by the self-imposed weapons test moratorium.

Cover image: Kim Jong Un laughs after missile launches in August 2019 (Picture: PA).