November 29, 2019 10:13
The South Korean military on Thursday lodged a rare protest against North Korea firing two short-range projectiles, presumably from a super-large multiple rocket launcher, into the East Sea.
Maj. Gen. Jeon Dong-jin, the head of operations of the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, in a statement expressed strong regret and urged North Korea to immediately stop activities that heighten military tensions. "Such an act is not conducive to efforts to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula," Jeon said.
It was the first time since 2017 that a senior JCS officer has issued a protest against any of the North’s missile provocations.
The projectiles were fired from Yonpo, South Hamgyong Province on Thursday afternoon, about a month after the North fired another two projectiles into the East Sea from a super-large MRL from South Pyongan Province on Oct. 31.
They flew about 380 km at an altitude of some 97 km and were fired only about 30 seconds apart, far quicker than the three-minute interval during the previous incident.
"We believe that the North was testing the rapid-fire functions of its super-large MRL this time," another JCS officer said.
Last year, the regime refrained from nuclear tests and long-range missile provocations amid a flurry of diplomacy with the U.S. and South Korea, but it resumed short-range missile tests at a frantic pace this year after its second summit with the U.S. collapsed in Hanoi in February.
The latest provocation seems to express the regime's frustration over the U.S.' reluctance to make further concessions until the North takes palpable steps toward denuclearization.
The U.S. military sent three reconnaissance aircraft earlier this week to monitor military movements in the North.
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