South Korea's military said Monday that North Korea fired from its eastern coast two projectiles believed to be short-range ballistic missiles, its first such launches this year.
The projectiles were launched from near Wonsan at around 12:37 p.m. toward the Sea of Japan and flew about 240 kilometers after reaching an altitude of about 35 km, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, adding that it is on the lookout for any additional launch.
No ballistic missiles have landed in waters within Japan's exclusive economic zone, the Japanese Defense Ministry said, adding that it has received no reports of damage to aircraft or ships that were in the area.
"Given the flying distance and altitude of the projectiles, they seem, for now, to be short-range ballistic missiles, the same ones that North Korea fired last year," a South Korean military official said in a briefing.
In Tokyo, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said, "The government has been in contact and close coordination with the United States and South Korea since right after the launch."
The top government spokesman declined to give details, saying at a regular briefing that a "comprehensive and technical" analysis is necessary.
North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency reported Saturday that leader Kim Jong Un guided a "joint strike drill" of units in the military in the country's east the previous day.
The report seems to suggest North Korea is ready to proceed with the training of military personnel and the development of weapons with talks between the United States and North Korea on the latter's denuclearization stalled.
"The joint strike drill that started on Feb. 28 seems to be continuing," the Joint Chiefs of Staff said after Monday's launches.
The United States and South Korea have postponed their annual joint military exercises planned in the spring due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The North opposes U.S.-South Korea military exercises, viewing them as preparations for a potential invasion.
North Korea conducted multiple test firings of projectiles between May and November, including short-range ballistic missiles and submarine-launched ballistic missiles.