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North Korea Launches Projectiles into the Ocean
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North Korea's ruler begins takes steps towards long-rage attack

North Korea continues to follow up on its years of threats and intimidation by launching rockets into the ocean for the third day in a row. South Korea has reported that it’s neighbor to the North spent the weekend launching projectiles into the waters off of it’s east coast, with three fired on Saturday, one on Sunday, and two more earlier this morning.

South Korean officials have called upon North Korean capitol Pyongyang to refrain from “tension creating acts,” the launch of missiles in particular, but North Korea has described the launches as routine military exercises. North Korea’s state-run news agency described the acts as “rocket launching drills.” The last time similar projectiles were fired from the country was in March.
CNN reprinted a statement from North Korea’s Central News Agency, in which South Korea’s request for casement of launches is ridiculed. “[South Korea’s] description of the drill as a factor of escalating the tension on the peninsula and in the region reminds one of a thief crying, ‘Stop the thief!'”

  
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Government officials have speculated that these launches may by North Korea’s response to the presence of a United States nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in a South Korean port. The aircraft carrier was in Korea to participate in joint naval drills.  Another state-run newspaper in North Korea claimed that the aircraft carrier was there to escalate tension between North and South Korea.

Since inheriting rule of North Korea from his father, Kim Jong Un has made countless threats against both South Korea and the United States. While his father, Kim Jong Il, frequently made similar destructive threats, they were rarely followed with action. The younger Kim is more of an unknown, and is being closely watched by nations all over the world. The projectiles that were launched over the weekend may be a part of the long-threatened long-range ballistic missiles program that North Korea has threatened to develop.

Discussing the launches earlier today, South Korean Defense Ministry Spokesman Kim Min-seok downplayed the severity of the North Korea’s launches. “There is a possibility that the projectiles are either short-range missiles or large-caliber rockets with a similar trajectory as short-range missiles.” He added that government intelligence suggests that North Korea is not yet ready to deploy long-range missiles.

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