North Korea fires missiles into sea, criticized by South

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea on Sunday fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea, South Korea said, calling it “inappropriate” at a time when the world is battling the coronavirus pandemic.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected the projectiles flying from the North Korean eastern coastal city of Wonsan into the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan on Sunday morning.

The projectiles flew about 230 kilometers (143 miles) at the maximum altitude of 30 kilometers (19 miles), the statement said.

It said South Korean and U.S. intelligence authorities were analyzing more details of the launches.

The military described them as “very inappropriate” because they occurred while the world is grappling with the coronavirus outbreak. It urged North Korea to stop launching weapons.

In recent weeks, North Korea has fired a slew of missiles and artillery shells in an apparent effort to upgrade its military capability amid deadlocked nuclear talks with the United States.

The talks remain stalled since the breakdown of a second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump in Vietnam in early 2019.

FILE – In this Monday, March 2, 2020, file photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects a military drill at undisclosed location in North Korea. North Korea has fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea, South Korea said Sunday, March 29, 2020. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified.(Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)
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