North Korea fires 'several projectiles' into Sea of Japan

North Korea fires 'several projectiles' into Sea of Japan

The North tends to test-fire balistic missiles or other projectiles - including those from long-range multiple rocket launchers - in response to US-South Korea joint military exercises.

The launches were the North's first rocket tests since two intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, were fired last month.

The second missile "appears to have blown up nearly immediately", the command said.

Benham says the military continues with a more detailed assessment.

South Korea's defence ministry said "unidentified projectiles", fired in the wee hours of Saturday, flew some 250 kilometres towards the Sea of Japan.

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This latest North Korean missile test would be the 12th ballistic missile test this year.

The launch took place as the United States and South Korea carry out 11 days of joint military exercises, known as Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG), and follows weeks of angry rhetoric between Washington and Pyongyang.

But US Pacific Command said that they believed the projectiles to be ballistic missiles.

Tens of thousands of South Korean and United States troops are taking part in joint military drills, a largely computer-simulated exercise that runs for two weeks.

"If it fails, then North Korea discovers problems with either their basic design or with the way the particular failed missile was put together", Bennett said "If the missile succeeds, they confirm that they have a reasonable design and that at least one of a given production batch really did fly".

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In April 2017, they launched a ballistic missile in an attempt to intimidate a fleet of US warships approaching North Korea, but did all but that.

Although the allies said the command-post practice, largely a war game, is defensive in nature, Pyongyang has long claimed that it's an invasion rehearsal. Japan has previously deployed missile interceptors after North Korea threatened to fire projectiles over Japan toward the US territory of Guam.

It seems that North Korea is trying not to aggravate the situation.

"I respect the fact that he is starting to respect us", Trump said at a campaign rally earlier this week.

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