N.Korea Fires 2 More Short-Range Rockets

North Korea fired two more short-range rockets presumably from a new 300 mm large-caliber multiple rocket launcher into the East Sea on Wednesday, a day before Chinese President Xi Jinping's arrival in South Korea.

The North fired two rockets similar to those set off on June 26 from near Wonsan into the East Sea at 6:50 a.m. and 8 a.m., a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff here said. They flew about 180 km.

Back on June 26, the North fired three rockets from what is believed to be a new 300 mm multiple rocket launcher. They flew some 190 km.

Wednesday's firing was the North's 12th test of ballistic missiles or rockets this year alone.

"It seems that the North was trying to make its presence known ahead of Xi's visit to Seoul," a government source here speculated. "This appears to be a kind of show of force in response to Seoul's rejection of the North's Tuesday demand to suspend the annual joint exercises with the U.S."

The North Korean new multiple rocket launcher with a maximum range of some 200 km "is a threat to [South Korean] military headquarters in Gyeryongdae, South Chungcheong Province," a military source here said. The Army believes the North is trying to improve accuracy by way of a GPS homing device.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 03, 2014 09:03 KST