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Official: North Korea launches 2 projectiles into sea

By K.J. Kwon, CNN
June 29, 2014 -- Updated 1911 GMT (0311 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: U.S. calls on North Korea to stop "provocative actions"
  • South Korean official: The projectiles "appear to be short-range missiles"
  • U.S., South Korean officials reported North Korea launched 3 projectiles Thursday

(CNN) -- North Korea fired two projectiles Sunday that "appear to be short-range missiles" into the sea off the eastern coast of the Korean Peninsula, a South Korean Defense Ministry official told CNN.

The launch took place shortly before 5 a.m. (4 p.m. ET Saturday), according to the official. The projectiles' estimated range is 500 kilometers (about 300 miles).

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A U.S. State Department official reacted to Saturday's launch, telling CNN, "We call on North Korea to refrain from taking provocative actions and instead fulfill its international obligations and commitments."

This is the second reported launch by North Korea in recent days.

On Thursday, U.S. and South Korean government officials reported North Korea had launched three projectiles from its southeastern coast.

North Korea has launched missiles several times in the past, often while South Korea is interacting with foreign powers.

In early March, missiles were fired into the sea at the start of joint United States-South Korea military exercises.

In late March, the same thing happened while the South Korean leadership met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama.

North and South Korea have existed in a state of permanent tension since the Korean War ended in 1953.

CNN's Elise Labott contributed to this report.

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