Subject: North Korea fired short-range missile: report Tue 19 Jun - 10:51
SEOUL - North Korea Tuesday test-fired a short-range missile into waters off its east coast, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said.
"North Korea launched an unknown type of short-range missile into the East Sea (Sea of Japan)," it quoted an intelligence source as saying. "It seems to be part of its routine exercises."
The defence ministry and Joint Chiefs of Staff told AFP they could not confirm the report, which was also carried by Japanese public broadcaster NHK.
The missile was fired shortly after 3:00 pm (0600 GMT), NHK said, quoting Japanese government officials.
Tuesday's firing would be the third since late last month.
On May 25, the North test-fired a missile into the sea off its east coast.
There were further test-launches on June 7, this time into the Yellow Sea.
The June 7 launches were believed to be of ground-to-ship or ship-to-ship missiles with a range of some 100 kilometres (60 miles). All landed in North Korean waters, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said at the time.
South Korean officials described both previous launchings as among the routine missile tests North Korea carries out every year.
But the US National Security Council described the June 7 exercise as "not constructive."
Yonhap's source said the missile fired Tuesday was similar to the type launched on May 25 and was presumably fired from the same place.
The latest tests would come just after North Korea signalled it was ready to shut down its nuclear reactor under a six-nation deal.