North Korea fires multiple ‘rare’ cruise missiles ahead of South Korean election

The Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement the “multiple projectiles” fired from Muchon in the east of the country were believed to be “short-range cruise missiles”.

The JCS said: “South Korea and US intelligence authorities are closely analysing related issues.”

North Korea, led by Kim Jong-un, are currently subject to a number of UN Security Council sanctions over its banned weapons programmes.

The missiles flew about 93 miles, the JCS confirmed, while several military aircraft appeared to have been involved in the drill.

The nuclear-armed North has been conducting military drills over the past several weeks, including several short-range ballistic missiles.

Last month, it fired nine ballistic missiles in four rounds of tests, according to analysts.

During recent years, Noryh Korea has repeatedly tested balistic missiles, which climb high above the Earth, sometimes even into space, before accelerating down towards their targets by the force of gravity.

But the use of cruise missiles are seen as relatively rare.

They travel at low altitudes – sometimes just a few metres above the surface – which are powered throughout their flight and can often be difficult to detect.

These missiles often require sophisticated guidance systems to bring them to their targets.

On Sunday, North Korean state media reported leader Kim Jong Un had visited an airbase and observed drills by the country’s fighter jets and attack aircraft.

This is a breaking story. More to follow…

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