North Korea fired three unidentified projectiles Monday from its eastern coast Monday, South Korea's defense ministry said in a text message, in the second such launch in a week that raises security concerns as world leaders are battling the coronavirus outbreak.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the three seem to have been launched from Sondok and flew into sea separating the country from Japan. Japan's Coast Guard said the North Korea projectile didn't land in its territorial waters and a Japanese public broadcaster said the projectiles appeared to be ballistic missiles.
The launches come after a three-month lull in testing and are the first such provocations since leader Kim Jong Un said Dec. 31 that he was no longer bound by a self-imposed freeze on major weapons tests. Kim spent much of last year threatening to take a "new path" in nuclear talks with the U.S. in 2020, if President Donald Trump didn't make a more appealing offer.
On March 2, North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles from its east coast to the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan.
A flurry of shorter-range missile tests last year showed that the regime has been making progress toward developing solid-fuel rockets that are easier to hide, faster to deploy and harder to intercept. Among those was a submarine-launched ballistic missile that flew 565 miles into space on Oct. 2.