North Korea has fired several projectiles believed to be short-range, surface-to-ship cruise missiles off its east coast, South Korea’s military says.
The latest firing marks a continuation of the ever-warming cold war on the Korean Peninsula as Pyongyang seeks to build a nuclear missile capable of reaching the United States.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a statement on Thursday saying the launch came from the North Korean eastern coastal town of Wonsan, with the projectiles likely travelling about 200 kilometres.
The launches were immediately reported to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the statement said.
It was the fourth North Korean missile test since President Moon took office in May.
It is the first since the United Nations Security Council last week unanimously passed new sanctions against the North.
The sanctions came after North Korea last week fired a short-range ballistic missile that landed in Japan’s maritime economic zone, prompting protest from both Tokyo and Seoul.
North Korea’s weapons tests are designed to build a nuclear and missile program that can stand up to what it sees as US and South Korean hostility, but they are also considered by outside analysts as ways to make its political demands clear to leaders in Washington and Seoul.
The North’s demands include the removal of nearly 30,000 US troops in South Korea stationed there ostensibly to check North Korean aggression.
The latest UN-backed sanctions extend a travel ban and asset freeze on high-level North Korean officials and state entities that deal with the missile program.
China, North Korea’s closest ally, has called on Pyongyang to suspend its testing program, while calling on the US to suspend military exercises on and near the Korean Peninsula.