North Korea fires suspected cruise missiles towards East Sea: Seoul

People watch a TV broadcast showing a file footage for a news report on North Korea firing two projectiles, possibly missiles, into the sea, in Seoul. (File photo: Reuters)

North Korea on Tuesday fired several suspected cruise missiles towards the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, the South’s military said.

The “multiple projectiles” fired from Munchon in the east of the country were believed to be “short-range cruise missiles,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The nuclear-armed North has repeatedly tested ballistic missiles in recent years, which climb high above the Earth, often into space, before being brought down towards their targets at high speed by the force of gravity.

In contrast cruise missiles travel at low altitudes – sometimes just a few metres (feet) above the surface, making them hard to detect – and are powered throughout their flight.

Sometimes highly maneuverable, they need sophisticated guidance systems to bring them to their targets.

“South Korea and US intelligence authorities are closely analyzing related issues,” the JCS said.

The North is subject to multiple UN Security Council sanctions over its banned weapons programs.

It has carried out a series of weapons tests in recent months, often describing them as multiple launch rocket systems while others have called them ballistic missiles.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:06 - GMT 07:06