North Korea conducts short-range missile test
SEOUL, South Korea: North Korea fired several short-range guided missiles into the sea off its east coast Friday in an apparent test launch, South Korean officials and media reports said.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed the launches, but said it was still investigating how many missiles were fired. The launches were apparently part of annual exercises conducted by the North, the Joint Chiefs said in a statement.
"The short-range missile launches are believed to be part of a routine exercise that North Korea has conducted annually on the east and the west coasts in the past," the statement said.
The missiles were fired from the communist country's east coast into the sea between Japan and the Korean peninsula, a Joint Chiefs official said on condition of anonymity, citing official protocol.
Japan's public broadcaster and other media, citing Japanese and U.S. sources, reported the missiles were surface-to-ship. Japan's Defense Ministry and Foreign Ministry could not immediately confirm the reports, but were investigating.