North Korea tests more missiles amid military exercises between Seoul and Washington

Launches appear to be in protest of joint military exercises, which North Korea is opposed to  

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The Independent Online

North Korea has tested two more suspected short-range missiles into the sea on Monday, amid ongoing military exercises between Seoul and Washington, South Korean defence ministry officials have said.

The launches appear to be in protest of the drills, which North Korea is opposed to and has called a preparation for an attack.

South Korea began joint military exercises with the US on 24 February. They are expected to continue until April.

On Monday, two projectiles blasted from the North's east coast flew about 500 kilometres (310 miles) before landing in the high seas, South Korean Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told reporters.

It follows South Korea's announcement that North Korea fired four short-range Scud missiles with a range of more than 200 kilometres (about 125 miles) into the North's eastern waters last Thursday.

Kim said the launches were made without a prior notice. He described them as posing a serious threat to international aviation and maritime navigations and civilian safety and called for the North to immediately stop "provocative acts".

“North Korea is doing an act of double standard by taking a peace offensive ostensibly, but later launching reckless provocative acts,” he said.

The test missiles comes as North Korea today deported John Short, an Australian missionary who had been detained for allegedly promoting Christianity by leaving religious pamphlets at a tourist site.

Mr Short admitted wrongdoing and apologised, the state-run KCNA said, and released photos that showed him writing a three-page handwritten confession and using red ink to mark each page with his thumbprint.

Additional reporting by Associated Press