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North Korean military defends latest round of missile and rocket tests

Published on Mar 5, 2014 5:03 PM

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea on Wednesday defended a recent series of missile and rocket tests as justifiable self-defence drills and hit back at "vicious" criticism of them by Seoul and Washington.

The tests were largely seen as a calculated display of military muscle-flexing to reflect the North's anger over ongoing South Korea-US military exercises.

In a statement carried by the North's official KCNA news agency, a Korean People's Army (KPA) spokesman said the tests - which violated UN sanctions banning any ballistic missile test by Pyongyang - were "ordinary military practice".

The North fired half a dozen short-range missiles into the sea off its east coast over the past week, followed by a volley of rockets from multiple launchers on Tuesday.

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