(From Reuters)

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast city of Wonsan early on Thursday, flying approximately 500 km (300 miles), South Korea’s military said.

North Korea has a large stockpile of short-range missiles and is developing long-range and intercontinental missiles.

Reports of the missiles being fired coincide with already heightened tension on the Korean peninsula after the North conducted its fourth nuclear test in January and launched a long-range rocket last month, leading to new U.N. Security Council and bilateral U.S. sanctions.

The North fired six rockets into the sea last week using a multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) from Wonsan, supervised by leader Kim Jong Un who ordered his military to be prepared to launch pre-emptive attacks against enemies.

Kim said on Wednesday his country has miniaturized nuclear warheads to mount on ballistic missiles and ordered improvements in the power and precision of its arsenal in his first direct comment about nuclear warhead miniaturization.

State Department spokesman John Kirby declined to comment on Kim’s claim to have miniaturized nuclear warheads and accused him of “provocative rhetoric.” Read more

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