North Korea fires 5 short-range missiles off its east coast

SEOUL (Kyodo) North Korea test fired five short-range missiles off its east coast on Monday, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported.

Details of the apparent missile tests were not immediately available, but Yonhap quoted a government sources as saying the missiles were launched south of Musudan-ri in North Hamgyeong Province.

First reports said the North had launched only two missiles, but later reports said the number was five.

South Korea’s MBC television said the rockets fired appeared to be a new version, with a range of about 100 km.

Yonhap quoted military experts as saying the missiles were likely fired as part of a routine military exercise, but that there was a chance they were meant to attract “international attention.”

The government source was quoted as saying North Korea had declared a navigation ban in waters off its east and west coasts from Oct. 10 to 20 and Japan’s Coast Guard had earlier noted a North Korean advisory to shipping that said weapon drills could take place from Monday till Oct. 25.