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North Korea suggests missile tests mark anniversary of Japan's WWII surrender

Published on Aug 15, 2014 10:12 AM
 
This picture shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (RIGHT) observing a tactical rocket launch. North Korea suggested on Friday that a series of rocket tests that coincided with the arrival of Pope Francis in South Korea were actually conducted to mark the anniversary of liberation from Japanese colonial rule. -- PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea suggested on Friday that a series of rocket tests that coincided with the arrival of Pope Francis in South Korea were actually conducted to mark the anniversary of liberation from Japanese colonial rule.

In a brief despatch, which made no mention of the pontiff's five-day visit to the South, the North's official KCNA news agency said leader Kim Jong Un had personally supervised the testing of a high-precision tactical missile.

The test was timed to mark the 69th anniversary on Friday of the Korean peninsula's liberation from Japanese rule in 1945, it added.

The North fired three short-range missiles just minutes before the pope's plane touched down in Seoul on Thursday morning at the start of the first papal visit to Asia for 15 years. Another two rockets were fired later in the day.

 
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