Yonhap News Agency is reporting the DPRK “launched what seems to be short-range missiles into the East Sea on Saturday morning, according to South Korea’s military.”
Yonhap reported the DPRK fired several “unidentified projectiles” from the vicinity Gitdaeryong in Gangwon Province at around 6:49 a.m., said the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).
Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said that the projectiles fired from the North’s eastern coast flew about 250 kilometers (155 miles), though it did not mention any failures. It said South Korea and U.S. militaries were analyzing the launch and didn’t immediately provide more details.
South Korea’s presidential office held a National Security Council meeting to discuss the missiles, which are the first known launches since July, when the North successfully flight tested a pair of intercontinental ballistic missiles that analysts say could reach deep into the U.S. mainland when perfected.
The U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) in a tweet said, “Statement on latest #NorthKorea violation of @UN Security Council resolutions: 3 SRBM launches; no threat to U.S. territory including #Guam.
The statement went on to say: “Initial assessment indicates three short-range ballistic missile launches.”
“The first and third missiles at 11:49 a.m. (Hawaii time) and 12:19 p.m. failed in flight. The second missile launch at 12:07 p.m. appears to have blown up almost immediately.”
The latest launch comes during an annual joint military exercise between the United States and South Korea that the North condemns as an invasion rehearsal, and weeks after Pyongyang threatened to lob missiles toward Guam.
North Korea’s state media earlier Saturday said that leader Kim Jong Un inspected a special operation forces training of the country’s army that simulated attacks on South Korean islands along the countries’ western sea border in what appeared to be in response to the ongoing U.S.-South Korea war games.
Kim reportedly told his troops that they “should think of mercilessly wiping out the enemy with arms only and occupying Seoul at one go and the southern half of Korea.”
The Korean Central News Agency said that the “target striking contest” involved war planes, multiple-rocket launchers and self-propelled guns that attacked targets meant to represent South Korea’s Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong islands before special operation combatants “landed by surprise” on rubber boats.
The border islands have occasionally seen military skirmishes between the rivals, including a North Korean artillery barrage on Yeonpyeong in 2010 that left two South Korean marines and two civilians dead.
Story includes information from The Associated Press and Yonhap with additional information from CGTN.