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(2nd LD) N. Korea fires 2 SRBMs toward East Sea; U.S. aircraft carrier due in S. Korea for joint training

11:03 March 27, 2023

(ATTN: UPDATES with plan for U.S. aircraft carrier to hold joint drills; CHANGES headline)

SEOUL, March 27 (Yonhap) -- North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) toward the East Sea on Monday, Seoul's military said, as a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier plans to hold joint drills in waters near the peninsula.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said it detected the launches from the Chunghwa County area in North Hwanghae Province between around 7:47 a.m. and 8 a.m. The missiles flew some 370 kilometers before splashing into the sea, it added.

Pyongyang's latest provocation came as South Korea and the United States kicked off the Ssangyong (double dragon) amphibious landing exercise last week. It is scheduled to end next Monday.

The USS Nimitz aircraft carrier strike group will also train together with the South's major warships in waters south of the peninsula on Monday, according to the defense ministry here. The South Korean Navy's Sejong the Great destroyer, equipped with the Aegis combat system, and the Choe Yeong destroyer will be mobilized for the practice to be staged in international waters south of the southern island of Jeju.

The aircraft carrier will then make a port call in Busan, 320 kilometers southeast of the capital, the following day, the ministry added.

In September last year, the U.S. deployed the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier to South Korea, with the allies seeking to bolster the "extended deterrence" against the North's growing military threats.

A ballistic missile is launched toward the East Sea from the Jangyon area in South Hwanghae Province on March 14, 2023, in this file photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency the following day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)



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