N. Korea Fires Five Missiles

North Korea fired five short-range KN-02 rockets into the Sea of Japan off its eastern coast Monday and declared a navigation ban in waters on both sides of the peninsula it occupies, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap. The missile launches would be the first from North Korea since July 4, and come a week after leader Kim Jong-Il indicated in Pyongyang that his country would rejoin six-nation nuclear-disarmament talks if it was allowed direct one-on-one negotiations with the U.S. first. The country, which regularly fires missiles into coastal waters as part of regular training exercises, is a leading supplier of missiles to the developing world, having earned hundreds of millions of dollars from deals with Iran, Pakistan, Syria, and Egypt, among others, but has recently demonstrated a more conciliatory attitude. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said at a press conference that the United States’ “goals remain the same. We intend to work toward a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.”