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N.K. tests missile in East Sea before announcing Kim’s death

Dec. 19, 2011 - 22:02 By Korea Herald
North Korea test fired a short-range missile on the east coast hours before the death of its leader Kim Jong-il was announced on Monday.

According to local news reports, the South Korean government confirmed that North Korea conducted a missile test around 8 a.m.

The number and type of missile fired was not confirmed. The exercise, however, is thought to be unrelated to the death of Kim Jong-il.

“The event is an issue the (South Korean) military has been tracking, and it is thought to be unrelated to Kim Jong-il’s death,” an unnamed government official was quoted as saying by a local news agency.

Pyongyang has conducted several drills firing surface-to-air missiles this year, and was reported to be preparing to test a ground-to-ship missile from a base in North Korean part of Gangwon Province.