North Korea test-fired two missiles into the sea early Wednesday, an official in Seoul said, prompting condemnation from South Korea, Japan and the United States.
It was the latest of several such launches this week, as South Korean, Japanese and US leaders criticised North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme at a meeting in the Netherlands.
The missiles were fired from north of Pyongyang and flew around 650 kilometres before falling into the waters east of the Korean Peninsula, a spokesman for the South’s Defence Ministry said.
“North Korea fired a ballistic missile at 2:35 am (1735 GMT) and another at 2:45 am,” the South Korean military was cited as saying by Yonhap News Agency.
The United States said the latest launches of No-Dong type missiles, as well as those of Scud missiles on March 3 and February 27, violated UN Security Council resolutions that established missile moratoriums for Pyongyang.
In addition, “it does not appear that North Korea issued any maritime notifications providing warning of the launches,” US State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said.
The US would coordinate with allies and in the Security Council to take “appropriate measures” to respond to the “troubling and provocative escalation” over Pyongyang’s weapons programme, she said.
Japan lodged a protest with North Korea over the latest launch, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said.
At a summit in The Hague on Tuesday, South Korean President Park Geun Hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe joined with US President Barack Obama to declare Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme a major threat to security in Asia and the world.