SEOUL: North Korea fired a volley of shots into the sea using multiple rocket launchers on Tuesday, in an apparent show of force to coincide with South Korea-United States joint military exercises, South Korean officials said.
Before noon, the North fired three shots using a multiple launch rocket system (MLRS), a high-mobility automatic launcher capable of firing surface-to-surface rockets, the South’s Defense Ministry said.
The projectiles were launched from the North’s eastern port of Wonsan and flew 55 kilometers (33 miles) into the Sea of Japan (East Sea), it said.
The North fired four more MLRS shots from 4:17 p.m. that flew about 155 kilometers, the ministry said.
“North Korea is believed to have tested two different types of MLRS,” said a ministry spokesman.
South Korean troops have increased their vigilance following a series of North Korean missile launches that drew condemnation from South Korea and the US.
North Korea test-fired four short-range Scud missiles off its east coast last week, followed by two more missiles on Monday.
South Korea called the missile launches a “reckless provocation,” while the United States demanded the North show restraint and abide by the United Nations Security Council resolutions.
The Scuds are at the longer edge of the short-range spectrum, with an estimated reach of 300-800 kilometers—capable of striking any target in the South.
It is not unusual for North Korea to carry out such tests, which often go unreported by South Korea.
But Washington said the latest missile tests breached UN resolutions that require Pyongyang to abandon its ballistic missile program.