Nuclear-armed North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast, South Korea's military said on Thursday, in what would be the sixth round of missile tests this month, APA reports quoting Reuters.
It is among the most missiles ever launched by North Korea in a month, analysts said, as Pyongyang has kicked off 2022 by displaying a dizzying array of new and operational weapons.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said it had detected the launch of what it presumed were two ballistic missiles about 8 a.m. local time from near Hamhung, on the east coast of North Korea. They travelled for about 190km to a maximum altitude of 20km, JCS added.
The suspected missiles appeared to have landed outside of Japan's exclusive economic zone, Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi told reporters.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the government was still gathering details on the launches, but that any tests of ballistic missiles are "deeply regrettable" and violate United Nations Security Council resolutions.
North Korea said this month it would bolster its defences against the United States and consider resuming "all temporally-suspended activities", an apparent reference to a self-imposed moratorium on tests of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.