N. Korea test-fires short-range missiles: official
North Korea test-fired three short-range missiles off its east coast this week in an apparently routine exercise, a South Korean official said Friday.
The North lobbed what appeared to be KN-02 missiles with a range of 120 kilometers (75 miles) into the Sea of Japan (East Sea) on Wednesday, the defence ministry official said on condition of anonymity.
North Korea Defence and Security Report 2012
The North frequently conducts such short-range tests but their timing sometimes coincides with periods of tension.
It reportedly test-fired two short-range missiles off its east coast on December 19, the same day it announced the death of leader Kim Jong-Il.
Kim's son Jong-Un has been proclaimed supreme leader and has been officially appointed commander of the 1.2-million-strong military.
The North has stressed that its stance will not change under its new young chief and that the "songun", or military-first, policy will continue.
On Sunday state media showed Jong-Un driving a tank and giving orders to artillery, navy and air force units, in an apparent attempt to bolster his credentials with the world's fourth-largest armed forces.
The following day the military held a mass rally and vowed to become human "rifles and bombs" to protect him.
by Huw Griffith © 2012 AFP
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