In its first missiles launch since the dramatic escalation of tension between Pyongyang and Washington, North Korea test-fired three short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan. It comes a day after Pyongyang lashed out at the ongoing US-South Korean military drills
The missiles were launched from Kittaeryong, in North Korea’s eastern Kangwon province. According to US Pacific Command spokesman Commander David Benham, two of the missiles fell into the water, while a third blew up at the launch pad.
"Initial assessment indicates three short-range ballistic missile launches. The first and third missiles at 11:49am and 12:19pm failed in flight," Benham said in a statement, as quoted by ABC. "The second missile launch at 12:07pm appears to have blown up almost immediately."
The missiles flew 250 kilometers (155 miles) in a northeastern direction before falling into the sea, according to the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The three launches come as the US and South Korean militaries hold the joint Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises in South Korea, which Pyongyang considers to be a provocation and threat to its security.
- North Korea launched three short-range ballistic missiles - but they were all duds
- One blew up 'almost immediately', the US said, and the other two failed in flight
- South Korea's joint chiefs of staff confirmed the missiles landed off its east coast
- They landed in the Sea of Japan, off Kangwon province, after flying 155 miles
- Tens of thousands of soldiers taking part in US-South Korean drill in the country
- It is the first launch by the North since it tested a long-range missile in July
North Korea has launched three short-range ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan in a further taunting of US president Donald Trump - but they were all duds.
The US military said that two of the missiles failed in flight and the other blew up 'almost immediately'.
South Korea's Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said it was analysing the missiles.
They said: 'The military is keeping a tight surveillance over the North to cope with further provocations'.
It comes as a US-South Korea joint military exercise is under way and as category 4 Hurricane Harvey moves towards Texas.
South Koreans - living under constant threat of attack from their belligerent northern neighbours - had to wake up to the launch at 6.49am local time.
Two of the missiles landed off the east coast of South Korea's Kangwon province after flying 155 miles in a northeasterly direction.
A spokesman for US Pacific Command said none of the missiles, which it said were launched near Kittaeryong, had posed a threat to either North America or the US Pacific territory of Guam.
'The first and third missiles... failed in flight. The second missile launch... appears to have blown up almost immediately,' said the spokesman, Commander Dave Benham, adding that the launches happened over a span of 30 minutes.
Japan's NHK broadcast said the projectiles did not appear to be objects that could threaten Japan's safety.
Yoshihide Suga, the Japanese government's top spokesman, told reporters in Tokyo Saturday morning: 'We confirmed that no ballistic missiles have fallen onto our country's territory or EEZ (exclusive economic zone).'
'We confirmed there was no direct impact on our country's security. Our prime minister told us to remain on high alert and do our best to respond to any situations in order to protect our people's lives and property.'
North Korea's state media earlier on Saturday said that leader Kim Jong Un inspected a special forces training session that simulated attacks on South Korean islands along the countries' western sea border in what appeared to be a response to the ongoing US-South Korea war games.
Kim reportedly told his troops that they 'should think of mercilessly wiping out the enemy with arms only and occupying Seoul at one go and the southern half of Korea.'