North Korea Launches 2 Missiles, Defies U.N. Ban

(Reuters) -

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into seas east off its coast on Sunday, South Korea’s military said, defying a U.N. ban on the isolated country testing such weapons.

The launch came days before Chinese President Xi Jinping’s scheduled state visit to South Korea. China is the main benefactor of the North, which is also under sanctions for conducting nuclear tests.

North Korea is also due to hold talks with Japan this week to work out the details of Pyongyang’s plan to reinvestigate the fate of Japanese citizens kidnapped by the reclusive state decades ago.

The missiles, which appeared to be Scud class, were launched from an area on the east coast of the peninsula and flew about 300 miles before crashing harmlessly into the water, an official for the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

The test firings on Sunday came three days after the North launched three short-range projectiles into the waters off its east coast, which flew about 120 miles and landed in the sea.