SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea launched a short-range projectile into waters off its east coast Sunday, as South Korea condemned the North’s provocations and urged it to accept a proposal for dialogue.
North Korea conducted three similar launchings in the same area Saturday, rattling the region where governments have hoped for an easing of tensions after months of bellicose pronouncements from the North.
South Korean officials had called the weapons tested Saturday “short-range guided missiles.” On Sunday, they began referring to what was launched over the past two days as “projectiles,” saying they may have included not only the modified KN-02 short-range guided missile but also rockets from its new multiple launcher.
South Korea fears North Korea’s artillery and multiple-rocket launchers, which are massed along the border with the South and capable of delivering a barrage on the South’s densely populated capital, Seoul.
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The United States and South Korea have been increasing their abilities to counter that part of the North Korean arsenal in recent years, especially after the North’s artillery attack on a South Korean border island in 2010 that killed four people. On Sunday, South Korea confirmed the deployment of dozens of Israeli Spike missiles and their mobile launchers on its western border islands.
Those precision-guided missiles, with a range of 12 miles, would target North Korean coastal guns and rocket batteries.
North Korea has also been expanding the capabilities of its rockets and missiles. Its newest multiple launcher can fire rockets more than 62 miles.