South Korea has announced that its nearest neighbour in the North has fired six short-range missiles into the sea, just hours after tight UN sanctions had been imposed upon the country.
According to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, the six rockets were fired from Wonsan on North Korea’s east coast at about 10:00am local time. The exact details of the projectiles are unknown, but it’s thought that they were either rockets or guided missiles and they hit the sea after travelling between 60-90 miles.
Their firing doesn’t actually contravene the new sanctions. Instead, as Foxtrot Alpha reports, the new arrangement bans the import of luxury goods and equipment that could further the country’s military capability, as well as making it harder for the country to obtain rocket fuel. Elsewhere, there will be limits placed on its sale of iron, gold and coal, and a ban placed on leasing vessels or aircraft to the country. All shipments into and out of the country can now also be inspected.
But despite the launches being allowed under the sanctions, the BBC’s Steve Evans, based in Seoul, says that “the firing of the missiles is being seen in South Korea as a signal of the North’s anger and defiance.” He also suggests that there may yet be more to come. Gulp. [Guardian, BBC]