BREAKING NEWS MSDH reports 1,025 new coronavirus cases, 18 new deaths Wednesday Full Story
WEATHER AUTHORITY : Heat Advisory View Alerts

North Korea launches unidentified projectiles for second time in two weeks

North Korea fired three unidentified projectiles, according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff. CNN's David Culver has more.

Posted: Mar 9, 2020 10:01 AM
Updated: Mar 9, 2020 10:01 AM

North Korea fired at least three unidentified projectiles Monday, according to US and South Korean officials, the second such move by the Kim Jong Un regime in two weeks.

South Korea's Defense Ministry said it detected different types of short-range projectiles fired from the Sondok area on North Korea's east coast into the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. The projectiles had a maximum flight distance of 200 kilometers (124 miles) and maximum altitude of 50 kilometers (31 miles), according to the ministry.

"Currently, our military is monitoring related movement in case of an additional launch, while maintaining thorough preparedness," South Korea's Defense Ministry said Monday, adding that it believed the launches violated agreements reached with Pyongyang in 2018 intended to ease military tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

A US official told CNN that North Korea had fired four unidentified projectiles.

The South Korean Defense Ministry said the launches could be "joint strike drills that include multiple types of multiple rocket launchers" as part of Pyongyang's winter military drills.

North Korean state media said it carried out military exercises that began on February 28, the one-year anniversary of Kim's summit in Hanoi with US President Donald Trump which ended without a deal. They continued March 2, when Pyongyang fired two unidentified short-range projectiles from an area near the coastal city of Wonsan, about 65 kilometers (40 miles) south of Sondok.

Two other US officials said the launch was not unexpected. One of the officials said "signs" had been observed but didn't say what they were.

"We are aware of a North Korean missile launch this morning into the East Sea, will continue to monitor the situation and are consulting closely with our South Korean and Japanese allies," United States Forces Korea said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the US State Department told CNN it was assessing the situation, adding: "We continue to call on North Korea to avoid provocations, abide by obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions, and return to sustained and substantive negotiations to do its part to achieve complete denuclearization‎."

No other details were immediately available.

A two-month pause

The recent launches come after a nearly two-month pause in similar activities by North Korea.

The country test-fired missiles 13 times in 2019 amid stalled talks with the United States, though Pyongyang refrained from firing the intercontinental-range missiles that are particularly worrying to the Trump administration.

US President Donald Trump called the launches "very standard" in September last year and claimed they posed no direct threat to the US mainland. The weapons do, however, pose a considerable threat to South Korea and some 28,000 US troops stationed there.

Kim had warned the US in 2019 that it had until the end of that year to jump start the stalled denuclearization talks. When that deadline came and went without any movement from Washington, Kim announced during a New Year's Day message that his country would bolster its nuclear deterrent, and no longer be held to a self-imposed moratorium on major weapons testing. Kim also pledged to show off a "new strategic weapon" in the near future.

Experts said the "strategic weapon" may mean an advanced type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) or a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). These latest tests do not appear to be that promised "strategic weapon," analysts say.

Maximum impact

Though weapons tests are important for developmental purposes, North Korea's military moves are often timed for maximum political impact both at home and abroad.

To his domestic audience, Kim projects strength in the face of perceived external threats. Beyond its borders, launches are often perceived as an attempt to get back on the global radar.

Currently, both South Korea and the US -- North Korea's two main adversaries -- are dealing with their own deadly novel coronvirus outbreaks.

After news of the outbreak in mainland China broke in January, North Korea quickly sealed off its borders and quarantined all foreigners in an effort to prevent an outbreak inside the country, which is perceived to be highly vulnerable due to limited medical capabilities.

Pyongyang has not confirmed a single case of the virus, a claim questioned by many outside observers.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 37542

Reported Deaths: 1272
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds310258
DeSoto205020
Madison156039
Jones125450
Harrison123116
Rankin117320
Forrest107143
Neshoba105077
Lauderdale97581
Scott83715
Jackson80919
Washington78214
Copiah69016
Leake65120
Lee64023
Grenada63412
Oktibbeha63228
Lamar6127
Warren61222
Holmes60842
Wayne57519
Yazoo5747
Leflore56956
Lowndes55317
Lincoln54136
Pike52821
Lafayette5274
Sunflower5269
Monroe47239
Panola4696
Covington4665
Simpson4613
Bolivar42818
Tate41813
Attala39024
Pontotoc3906
Adams38820
Newton37910
Marion35612
Claiborne31811
Pearl River31732
Marshall3074
Winston30513
Chickasaw30419
Jasper2956
Walthall2899
Noxubee2819
Clay26811
Smith26112
Union25811
Coahoma2376
Clarke23425
Lawrence2182
Yalobusha2089
Tallahatchie2064
Montgomery1903
Carroll18911
Kemper18414
Humphreys17810
Calhoun1765
Hancock15813
Itawamba1528
Tippah15111
Jefferson1353
Webster13511
George1313
Jefferson Davis1294
Prentiss1294
Tunica1273
Amite1183
Greene11810
Alcorn1132
Tishomingo1111
Quitman1041
Wilkinson1049
Perry954
Stone802
Choctaw764
Franklin582
Sharkey520
Benton490
Issaquena111
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 58225

Reported Deaths: 1183
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson7186174
Mobile5206147
Montgomery4690114
Tuscaloosa277754
Madison27299
Marshall209012
Shelby182026
Lee171637
Morgan14296
Baldwin139611
Walker112635
DeKalb11187
Etowah110414
Elmore110124
Dallas102810
Franklin96016
Unassigned81428
Russell7340
Autauga73317
Chambers69332
Limestone6914
Cullman6896
Houston6587
Butler65631
St. Clair6463
Tallapoosa64669
Lauderdale6337
Colbert5826
Calhoun5776
Escambia5228
Lowndes49723
Pike4915
Jackson4722
Coffee4534
Covington43913
Talladega4337
Dale4142
Barbour4133
Bullock38010
Hale36723
Marengo36411
Chilton3563
Blount3441
Marion33214
Clarke3296
Wilcox3258
Winston3157
Sumter30413
Pickens2806
Randolph27910
Monroe2773
Perry2632
Conecuh2478
Bibb2322
Macon2279
Choctaw22112
Greene2019
Henry1613
Washington1588
Lawrence1510
Crenshaw1403
Cherokee1357
Geneva1060
Lamar951
Clay922
Fayette902
Coosa691
Cleburne531
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Clear
95° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 76°
Feels Like: 105°
Columbus
Few Clouds
97° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 115°
Oxford
Scattered Clouds
90° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 74°
Feels Like: 102°
Starkville
Scattered Clouds
90° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 98°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather