It is the fourth missile launch from the country in four weeks. The missiles flew 200 kilometers (124 miles). The launch is in direct violation of the expanded UN sanctions placed on the country.
North Korea launched several land-to-ship missiles into the sea off its eastern coast on Thursday according to South Korea.
"North Korea fired multiple projectiles that appear to be short-range land-to-ship cruise missiles today morning off the east coast from the region of Wonsan," said a statement from the South Korean Office of Joint Chiefs of Staff. The statement said South Korea and the US were analyzing the launches.
Wonsan is located 146 kilometers (91 miles) east of capital Pyongyang and is on the Sea of Japan (East Sea). The missiles flew about 200 kilometers before landing in water. Japan Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday's missile launch had no immediate effect on its national security.
In defiance of relations
It is the fourth North Korean missile launch since South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office on May 10. Moon won the election after pledging to work with Pyongyang to ease tensions. North Korea and South Korea have been separate since the Korean War ceased in 1953 and never signed a peace treaty.
A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry called on Thursday for all parties to exercise restraint following the missiles launch.
North Korea has continued to develop missiles in the face of sanctions from the UN, South Korea, Japan, US and EU. North Korea has said it needs to develop missiles due to hostility from neighbor South Korea and South Korean ally the US.
South Korea said on Wednesday it will hold off on further development on the controversial Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. US President Donald Trump has vowed to support South Korea and sent a submarine to the Korean peninsula in April. The US has repeatedly called upon North Korea's lone ally, China, to put pressure on the secluded nation.
kbd/rc (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)