North Korea on Monday fired at least one ballistic missile toward the Sea of Japan, but no damage was reported as it fell into waters outside Japan's exclusive economic zone, the Japanese government said.

The missile, launched in a northeasterly direction at around 3 p.m., is estimated to have flown more than 250 kilometers at a maximum altitude of 50 km before falling near the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, according to Japan's Defense Ministry.

The South Korean military said it detected the firing of multiple projectiles presumed to be short-range ballistic missiles from the Pyongyang area toward the Sea of Japan at around 3:01 p.m.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida instructed related ministries and agencies to gather information and ensure the safety of aircraft and ships, according to his office.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi told a press conference that Tokyo strongly condemns the missile test as a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and has lodged a protest with Pyongyang through diplomatic channels.

"North Korea's series of actions, including its repeated missile launches, poses a threat to the peace and stability of Japan, the region and the international community," the top government spokesman added.

The latest North Korean missile launch comes as Japan, South Korea and the United States have been stepping up their security collaboration to address North Korea's nuclear and missile development programs.

Washington and its East Asian allies have been keeping a close eye on the possible launch of a spy satellite by North Korea, with a U.S. think tank estimating that it could take place by the end of this month at the latest.

Pyongyang has said it plans to launch three spy satellites this year following what is believed to have been its first successful launch in November.

North Korea also on Friday conducted "a power test of a super-large warhead" for the Hwasal-1 Ra-3 strategic cruise missile and test-fired the Pyoljji-1-2 new-type anti-aircraft missile in the Yellow Sea, the country's official Korean Central News Agency has reported.

North Korea's last ballistic missile launch was on April 2, when its leader Kim Jong Un attended a test launch of the solid fuel-powered, intermediate-range Hwasong-16 missile carrying a hypersonic warhead in a Pyongyang suburb, according to the state-run media.

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