World and Nation

North Korean officials expel Australian evangelist

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Monday said it had decided to expel an Australian Christian missionary it arrested last month after he apologized for violating North Korean laws.

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said that the missionary, John Short, 75, had asked for leniency. He was arrested on Feb. 18 after secretly distributing Christian materials while visiting a Buddhist temple in Pyongyang, the agency said, and did the same in the Pyongyang subway during a visit in August 2012.

“Our related agencies have decided to expel him, given the generosity of the laws of our republic and considering his advanced age,” the news agency said.

In another development on Monday, North Korea fired two short-range projectiles off its east coast, its second missile test in five days, prompting South Korea to warn against rising tensions.

Two missiles blasted off from the Gitdaeryeong launching site near the southeastern coast of North Korea around 6:20 a.m. Monday and flew 310 miles to the northeast before landing in international waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, said a Defense Ministry spokesman from South Korea, speaking on the condition of anonymity under ministry policy.

North Korea launched four short-range missiles in the same direction from the same site Thursday.

Those missiles flew about 124 miles, ministry officials said.