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N. Korea suggests missile tests for anniversary, not Pope

South Korean President Park Geun-hye (L) leads Pope Francis after a welcoming ceremony at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on August 14, 2014North Korea suggested Friday that a series of rocket tests that coincided with the arrival of Pope Francis in South Korea were actually conducted to mark the anniversary of liberation from Japanese colonial rule. In a brief despatch, which made no mention of the pontiff’s five-day visit to the South, the North’s official KCNA news agency said leader Kim Jong-Un had personally supervised the testing of a high-precision tactical missile. The test was timed to mark the 69th anniversary Friday of the Korean peninsula’s liberation from Japanese rule in 1945, it added. The North fired three short-range missiles just minutes before the pope’s plane touched down in Seoul on Thursday morning at the start of the first papal visit to Asia for 15 years.

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