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N Korea at crossroads

North Korea fired two ballistic missiles off east coast: Seoul

This follows 2 others a day earlier, as U.S. VP Harris visits South Korea

Kim Jong Un's regime fires the third ballistic missile in two days as U.S. Vice President visits South Korea. (KCNA via Reuters)

SEOUL (Reuters) -- North Korea fired two ballistic missiles off its east coast on Thursday, South Korea's military said, following the firing of two short-range ballistic missiles a day earlier and one on Sunday.

"South Korean military detected two short-range ballistic missiles fired from Sunchon, South Pyongan province, toward the east coast between 8:48 p.m. and 8:57 p.m. ... Amid strengthened surveillance and vigilance, our military maintains full preparedness while working closely with the U.S.," the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

The launch came as U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris ended a visit to South Korea, during which she was strongly critical of the reclusive nation.

The military did not give details of the travel range, height and speed of the missiles.

South Korea and its allies are concerned that the North is about to conduct a nuclear test - which would be the seventh since 2006 and its first since 2017. South Korean lawmakers briefed by the country's spy agency said on Wednesday the North has completed preparations for a nuclear test and a possible window for carrying it out could come between Oct. 16 and Nov. 7.

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