North Korea fired four missiles as an apparent reaction to South Korea's annual military drills. Three of them landed within 200 kilometers of the Japanese coast.
The joint exercise comes amid growing tensions as North Korea advances its missile and nuclear weapons programs. The UN has warned Pyongyang that it risks a miscalculation that could spark a war.
The move comes after North Korea recently tested missiles over the pacifist country. The new missiles will be capable of reaching North Korea.
Pyongyang has said that the outbreak of war on the Korean peninsula was now a matter of "when," rather than "if." North Korea's Foreign Ministry condemned drills by the South Korean and US militaries.
At a time when the United States is calling for more restrictions on fuel exports to North Korea, Russia may be attempting to avoid the total collapse of the regime in Pyongyang. Julian Ryall reports from Tokyo.
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