North Korea on Saturday fired what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles from a site on the country's east coast, the South Korean presidential office said, in the fifth such launch within weeks.
The missiles flew around 400 kilometres, reaching a maximum altitude of 48 kilometres, before landing in the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, the South Korean military said according to news agency Yonhap.
‘Our military is monitoring the situation in case of additional launches while maintaining a readiness posture,’ the agency quoted the military in Seoul as saying.
UN resolutions prohibit North Korea from launching ballistic missiles, whether short, medium or long range.
The launches come just days after North Korea conducted missile tests in what it said was an ‘adequate warning’ to the US and South Korea in response to ongoing joint military exercises.
Speaking to reporters outside the White House before news of the latest launches emerged, US President Donald Trump said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wasn't happy with the joint military exercises.
‘He wasn't happy with the tests - the war games. The war games on the other side, with the United States,’ Trump said.
‘I've never liked it either ... I don't like paying for it,’ the president said.
He again downplayed Pyongyang's recent string of tests. ‘The missile tests have all been short-range. No ballistic missile tests. No long-range missiles,’ Trump told reporters.
He also said he had received a ‘very beautiful letter’ from Kim, but did not say what it contained.
‘I think we'll have another meeting,’ Trump said. ‘He really wrote a beautiful, three-page - I mean, right from top to bottom - a really beautiful letter.’
Pyongyang and Washington are currently trying to relaunch stalled talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons programmes and economic sanctions.
Trump and Kim met in June in the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas and agreed to restart talks.
That meeting came after a second summit between the leaders in Hanoi in February failed to yield a deal on North Korea's nuclear disarmament and the reduction of sanctions.
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