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South Korea says North Korea fires short-range projectile into sea

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SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea fired another short-range projectile into the sea Monday, a Seoul official said, in the country's latest weapons test made three days after it cancelled a plan to send cheerleaders to the upcoming Asian Games in the South.

The projectile flew about 220 kilometers (135 miles) before landing in waters off the North's east coast, a South Korean Defense Ministry official said speaking on condition of anonymity, citing department rules.

North Korea routinely test-fires missiles and rockets but it has conducted an unusually large number of weapons tests this year. The country has sent a mixed signal by repeatedly making a set of proposals that it said would lower tensions, such as halting mutual slandering. South Korea has rebuffed those overtures saying the North must first take steps toward nuclear disarmament.

North Korea had said it wanted to send both athletes and cheerleaders to the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. But the North said Friday it decided not to send cheerleaders because of what it called South Korea's hostility. Analysts say the North's decision suggests that the country may not continue an earlier push to improve ties with South Korea.

The North said it still plans to send athletes to the games set for Sept. 19-Oct. 4.

The two Koreas remain divided along a heavily armed border since their war in the 1950s ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

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