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North Korea fires projectiles into Yellow Sea

North Korea fired a series of projectiles into the Yellow Sea on 20 March, the South Korean Ministry of National Defense (MND) has said.

The projectiles were launched about seven weeks before new South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol assumes office following his election win in March.

Speaking to Janes, an MND spokesperson said the launched projectiles constituted “four shots” that were believed to have been fired from a “multiple launch rocket system” operated by the Korean People's Army (KPA).

The spokesperson said details about the exact launch site and location where the projectiles fell were “not confirmed”. He said details about the projectiles launched by North Korea were not available.

The projectiles were reportedly fired at about 0700 h local time from an unspecified location in South Pyongan Province.

A spokesperson from South Korea's presidential office said the government's National Security Council (NSC) held an emergency meeting in response to the projectile launches.

Local media reported that the NSC called for increased military alertness in South Korea to ensure security during a government transition period. Yoon is scheduled to assume office as president on 10 May.

The projectiles fired from the suspected multiple launch rocket system were detected by South Korea's MND just a few days after it said another “unknown” North Korean projectile failed shortly after its launch.

According to the MND, this projectile was fired on 16 March but “failed to reach a certain altitude in its early boost phase”. This test launch was also detected by Japan's Ministry of Defense.

This is the 10th missile launch that North Korea has conducted since the beginning of 2022, more than in all of 2021.

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