N.Korea Fires Missile from Chinese Border Area

North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile from Jagang Province about 60 km from the border with China into the East Sea on Monday morning. It was the first launch from the area and comes at a time of deteriorating relations between Pyongyang and its sole ally.

"Around 10:30 a.m. Monday, the North suddenly fired a short-range projectile in an easterly direction from near Ryonglim, Jagang Province, without declaring no-fly or no-sail zones," a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff here said.

The projectile flew some 220 km and fell into the East Sea near Kimchaek, North Hamgyong Province.

It is believed to have been a new improved version of the KN-02 short-range missile or a Scud missile with a range of 300-500 km.

The missile was probably fired from a mobile launcher. Although there is an underground Rodong missile base in Ryonglim, that was not where missile was fired from, the spokesman said.

Military authorities are busy trying to find out why the North fired the missile at a time when inter-Korean relations are thawing after the close of the joint South Korea-U.S. military exercises and ahead of the Asian Games.

It was the North's 18th missile launch this year alone.

englishnews@chosun.com / Sep. 02, 2014 09:18 KST