North Korea test fires rockets in Thanksgiving reminder of year-end deadline for U.S.

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(Reuters) – Breaking a month-long lull in missile tests, North Korea fired two short range projectiles into the sea off its east coast on Thursday in what appeared to be the latest try out of its new multiple rocket launchers, South Korea’s military said.

The test-firing came as the clock ticks down on the year-end deadline that Pyongyang had given the United States to show flexibility in their stalled denuclearization talks. 

It also coincided with the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, and took place one day before the second anniversary of the North’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said the North fired the two projectiles into the sea from launchers in the eastern coastal town of Yonpo at around 5 p.m. (0800 GMT). The rockets traveled up to 380 km (236 miles) and reached an altitude of 97 km (60 miles), the JCS said.

The launch is the first since Oct. 31, when the North tested what it called super-large multiple rocket launchers, which had also been used in tests conducted in August and September that were overseen by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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