N Korea tests more missiles amid S Korea-US exercises

North Korean Soldier (April 2013) North Korea periodically uses missile tests to show anger at external events

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North Korea has test-fired two more short-range missiles into the sea off its east coast, South Korean defence ministry officials say, amid ongoing South Korea-US military exercises.

Officials in Seoul said the missiles flew more than 500km (300 miles).

Pyongyang also test-fired four similar missiles late last week.

North Korea often carries out short-range missiles tests to show its anger at military exercises involving its southern neighbour.

South Korea and the US began the annual joint exercises on 24 February. The drills, which involve thousands of troops, continue until the middle of April.

Pyongyang is opposed to the drills and has previously called them "exercises of war".

South Korean officials said that the missiles, launched early on Monday morning, were Scud-C models. They have the range to hit any target in South Korea.

A spokesman called on the North to "immediately stop provocative acts".

Last year North Korea reacted furiously to the annual military exercises, which came shortly after Pyongyang conducted its third nuclear test, prompting the expansion of existing UN sanctions.

This year, however, ties between the two Koreas have warmed somewhat. Earlier this month, they held reunions for families separated by the division of the Korean peninsula for the first time since 2010.

"The North is taking a double-faced stance by making conciliatory gestures on one hand and pushing ahead with reckless provocation on the other," said South Korea's Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok.

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