North Korea on Wednesday fired two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast, according to Japanese and South Korean authorities, amid an ongoing joint drill by the South Korean and U.S. navies.
The missiles appear to have landed outside of Japan's exclusive economic zone, and there are no reports of damage caused by them, the Japanese government said.
The projectiles flew on irregular trajectories, with the first one traveling about 350 kilometers and the second flying around 300 km, Toshiro Ino, Japanese senior vice defense minister, told reporters. Both of them reached an altitude of some 50 km.
"A series of North Korea's actions, including repeated ballistic missile launches, threaten peace and safety of our nation, the surrounding region and the international community," Ino said, adding that Japan lodged a protest with the country via the Japanese Embassy in Beijing.
A U.S. State Department spokesperson also condemned North Korea's ballistic missile launches, calling them a violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions and saying that they pose "a threat" to neighboring countries.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said North Korea fired the two short-range ballistic missiles between 6:10 p.m. and 6:20 p.m. from the Sunan area of Pyongyang.
North Korea has repeatedly conducted ballistic missile tests since the start of this year. On Sunday, it fired a short-range ballistic missile toward the Sea of Japan just days after a U.S. aircraft carrier arrived in South Korea for the joint drills held for the first time in roughly five years.
The latest missile launches came as a White House official has said U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to the Demilitarized Zone on the border of the two Koreas Thursday to showcase her nation's commitment to the defense of Seoul.
The U.S. State Department spokesperson reiterated that the U.S. commitment to the defense of South Korea and Japan remains "ironclad," while noting that Washington adheres to a "diplomatic approach" to North Korea and seeks to engage in dialogue.