N Korea fires missiles amid coronavirus outbreak
Published: 01:02 PM, 29 March 2020
North Korea has fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the ocean off its east coast, according to South Korea and Japan on Sunday.
Two "short-range projectiles" were launched from the coastal Wonsan area on Sunday, and flew 230 kilometres (143 miles) at a maximum altitude of 30 kilometres (19 miles), South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff reported.
"In a situation where the entire world is experiencing difficulties due to COVID-19, this kind of military action by North Korea is very inappropriate and we call for an immediate halt," the JCS said in a statement, according to Yonhap news agency.
Japan's Ministry of Defense said the projectiles appeared to be ballistic missiles, and they did not land in Japanese territory or its exclusive economic zone.
"Recent repeated firings of ballistic missiles by North Korea is a serious problem to the entire international community including Japan," a ministry statement said.
Pyongyang is yet to issue a statement on Sunday's weapons launches.
They would be the eighth and ninth missiles launched in four rounds of tests this month, and the most missiles ever fired in a single month by North Korea, according to a tally by Shea Cotton, senior researcher at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.
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