North Korea launches ‘several’ missiles
Pyongyang has fired "several" missiles from its east coast in a move which is sure to stoke tension with the US.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff have said North Korea fired the unidentified short-range missiles on Saturday morning.
Seoul said the North's missiles were fired from Wonsan on the east coast about 9am (10am AEST).
The South initially reported a single missile was fired, but later issued a statement that said "several projectiles" had been launched and that they flew up to 200 kilometres before splashing into the sea toward the northeast, reported AP.
Japan's Defence Ministry said the missiles had not reached anywhere near the country's coast and that Japan is not facing any security threat.
The ministry said it has not detected signs that any of the North Korean missiles reached in or around Japan's territory or its 320 kilometre exclusive economic zone.
South Korea's military has bolstered its surveillance in case there are additional weapons launches, and South Korean and US authorities are analysing the details.
If it's confirmed that the North fired banned ballistic missiles, it will be the first such launch since the November 2017 test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
That year saw a string of increasingly powerful weapons tests from the North and a belligerent response from President Donald Trump that had many in the region fearing war.
The firing on Saturday comes amid a diplomatic breakdown that has followed the failed summit earlier this year between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un over the North's pursuit of a nuclear arsenal that can target the US mainland and parts of Australia.
A few weeks ago, North Korea staged a tactical guided weapons firing test, according to state media agency KCNA which said Mr Kim had praised the weapon's capabilities.
"The development and completion of this weapons system will be a great historic event in strengthening the combat capability of the People's Army," he said, according to KCNA.