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N.Korea fires several short-range missiles as S.Korea, US conduct drills

29 August 2017

North Korea has fired three short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast, the U.S. military has said.

"As long as the United States hostile policy and nuclear threat remains unchallenged, (North Korea) will never place its self-defensive nuclear deterrence on the negotiating table or step back an inch from the path it took to bolster the national nuclear force", Mr Ju said.

North Koreas state media earlier Saturday said that leader Kim Jong Un inspected a special operation forces training of the countrys army that simulated attacks on South Korean islands along the countries western sea border in what appeared to be in response to the ongoing U.S.

The launches come as tens of thousands of South Korean and USA troops take part in joint military drills in the South, which Pyongyang views as a highly provocative rehearsal for an invasion of its own territory. Nor, indeed, are they said to have done any damage.

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North Korea's last missile test on July 28 was for an intercontinental ballistic missile created to fly 10,000 km (6,200 miles).

The incident happened amid rising tensions between the US and North Korea, which has been warned by President Trump about missile build-up and development of nuclear armaments.

None of the missiles, launched from near Kittaeryong in the North, had posed a threat to either North America or the US Pacific territory of Guam, the spokesman added. We are working with our Interagency partners on a more detailed assessment and we will provide a public update if warranted. It said earlier that the third missile appears to have blown up immediately. "We view it as provocative against the United States and its allies".

The South Korean Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the projectiles were launched from the North's eastern Kangwon province into the sea.

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Tillerson called North Korea's "restraint" pleasing and said it could open a pathway for dialogue in the near future.

Mr Tillerson's latest remarks came just after the United States announced new North Korea-related sanctions targeting Chinese and Russian firms and individuals for supporting Pyongyang's weapons programs. USA officials say none of the missiles posed any threat to North America at any point.

North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests and dozens of missile tests since the beginning of previous year. Although the missile has not been operationally deployed yet, it is considered a key component to the so-called “kill chain” pre-emptive strike capability the South is pursuing to cope with the Norths growing nuclear and missile threat.

The two launches in July triggered an worldwide crisis as President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un exchanged in volatile rhetoric.

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"In regards to activity in North Korea tonight, the president has been briefed and we are monitoring the situation", she said.

N.Korea fires several short-range missiles as S.Korea, US conduct drills