Monday, North Korea reportedly fired two short-range missiles into the sea off the east coast of the Korean peninsula.
The launch marks the second such test in less than week. The South Korean Defense Ministry says the weapons were Scud missiles with a range capability of 500 miles — twice that of the four missiles the country launched on Feb. 27th. (Via BBC)
The show of might comes as the U.S. and South Korea hold joint military operations in the Korea Peninsula, something North Korea has staunchly opposed over the years. (Via CNN)
Seoul and Washington say the annual exercises are purely defensive in nature; however, Pyongyang sees the joint maneuvers as a prelude to a possible invasion of the North. (Via Euronews)
Last year North Korea escalated tensions by threatening preemptive nuclear strikes against the South and U.S. following the drills. Since then, however, the North has opted for improved ties with its Southern counterpart — making conciliatory gestures such as permitting the reunions of North and South Korean families separated during the war. (Via ABC, Voice of America)
Seoul says it is on high alert and monitoring the situation. It has called for North Korea to cease test-firing missiles.