March 27, 2014 09:25
North Korea's firing of two ballistic missiles early Wednesday morning was a protest against a three-way summit between South Korea, the U.S. and Japan in The Hague that affirmed a united front against Pyongyang, pundits believe.
The missiles were fired at the same time that the summit was taking place.
The missiles, which dropped into the East Sea, are believed to have been Rodong missiles capable of hitting Japan's Yokosuka naval base, home to the U.S. Seventh Fleet, which would be dispatched to the Korean Peninsula if war breaks out.
They were only the latest in a string of missiles and rockets the North fired to coincide with massive South Korea-U.S. military exercises in the region.
South Korean and U.S. officials believe the North fired the Rodong missiles from mobile launchers, which are more difficult to detect than fixed positions.
The North is believed to have about 200 of these mobile launch platforms. Despite using cutting-edge radar, South Korean and U.S. military officials detected the launches of the Rodong missiles only after they were fired.
Meanwhile, North Korean state media on Wednesday again denied that the North was responsible for sinking the South Korean navy corvette Cheonan and demanded the scrapping of sanctions.
North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland also accused South Korean activists of insulting the North's leader by sending balloons carrying propaganda messages across the border and warned they could have "catastrophic results" for inter-Korean relations.
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