North Korea test-fired a short-range missile off its west coast on Sept. 27. The launch came a day after President Lee Myung-bak warned Pyongyang against provocations in the wake of recent incursions by North Korean fishing boats across the maritime border.
"North Korea test-fired a short-range, surface-to-ship missile on the west coast of South Pyongan Province on Sept. 27," a government source here said. It is believed to have been a KN-01 missile with range of 120 km, which is adapted from China’s Silkworm missile.
The missile apparently flew around 80-90 km into the West Sea.
"It could have been a routine test to improve the capability of the missile," or some kind of retaliation, the source speculated.
Another government source said North Korea test-fired four or five short-range missiles into the West and East Sea before Sept. 27. In March, just before the launch of what it claimed was a space rocket, the North test-fired what South Korean officials believe were two KN-01 missiles into the West Sea, and on Dec. 19, 2011, it test-fired two more short-range missiles into the East Sea when the death of leader Kim Jong-il was announced.
North Korea has deployed multiple KN-01 missiles along its west coast near Yeonpyeong and Baeknyeong islands to thwart joint South Korean and U.S. attacks.