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    Jun 30, 2014

    N. Korea fires missiles before Xi's visit to South


    NORTH Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea east off its coast yesterday, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said, in a breach of United Nations resolutions against the use of ballistic-missile technology by Pyongyang.

    The launch came days before Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to South Korea.

    China is the main benefactor of the North, which is also under sanctions for conducting nuclear tests.

    The missiles, which appeared to be Scud class, were launched from an area on the east coast of the peninsula and flew about 500km before crashing harmlessly into the water, an official for the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

    The test firings yesterday came three days after the North launched three short-range projectiles into the waters off its east coast, which flew about 190km and landed in the sea.

    Such launches are routine. North Korea frequently test-fires short-range multi-rocket launchers, which are not prohibited under UN sanctions on the country.

    It has so far test-fired its ballistic missiles and rockets 11 times this year, including four tests involving ballistic missiles.