North Korea fires ballistic missiles, the third time in March 2020

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People watches a televsion screen showing a file image of North Korea's missile launch during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, March 21, 2020. North Korea on Saturday fired two presumed short-range ballistic missiles into the sea, South Korea's military said, as it continues to expand military capabilities amid deadlocked nuclear negotiations with the Trump administration and a crippling global health crisis. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea from North Pyongan province on Saturday local time, Yonhap news agency reported, citing South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

On March 9, the DPRK reportedly test-fired short-range projectiles into the East Sea. And on March 2, it fired two unidentified projectiles into the eastern waters.

“Our military is monitoring the situation in case there are additional launches and maintaining a readiness posture,” the JCS said.

A woman walks past a TV broadcasting file footage for a news report on DPRK firing an unidentified projectile, Seoul, South Korea, March 9, 2020. /Reuters

Japan’s coast guard said on Saturday that DPRK appeared to have fired a missile, which landed outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone waters.

Earlier on Saturday, DPRK announced it would hold on April 10 a session of the Supreme People’s Assembly in Pyongyang, marking the first time in about eight months the DPRK is holding such a gathering.

State media KCNA also said on Saturday DPRK leader Kim Jong Un guided an artillery fire competition between combined units of the DPRK army on Friday, displaying photos of him watching with high-ranking military officers, all unmasked.

It was unclear whether Saturday’s launch was part of the drill.

The competition Friday involved large combined units of the Korean People’s Army, with the participation of the artillery units under the 3rd, 4th and 8th corps of the KPA, the KCNA said in a report.

The weapons tests came amid the stalled denuclearization talks with the United States.

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