Seoul: North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Monday, Seoul said, Pyongyang's second launch in 48 hours– the latest missile launch in recent days by the country.
South Korea's military said they had detected the launch of "two short-range ballistic missiles fired from Sukchon areas in South Pyongan province between 0700-0711 (2200-2211 GMT)".
Tokyo also confirmed the launch, with the Prime Minister's Office warning the North had launched "a suspected ballistic missile" and the coastguard issuing alerts over multiple projectiles.
North Korea issued a statement soon after saying it had "fired two shots using 600mm multiple rocket launchers", into the East Sea, referring to the body of water also known as the Sea of Japan.
The launch comes less than 48 hours after Pyongyang conducted what it called a "surprise" drill to fire an intercontinental ballistic missile Saturday, which it said demonstrated North Korea's capacity to carry out a "fatal nuclear counterattack".
Japan said Saturday's ICBM had flown for 66 minutes and landed in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ). In response, Seoul and Washington staged joint air drills Sunday, featuring a strategic bomber and stealth fighter jets.
In a statement issued early Monday, North Korean leader Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong warned that Pyongyang would continue to take "corresponding counteraction" to any perceived threats.
"The frequency of using the Pacific as our firing range depends upon the US forces' action character," she said in a statement carried by the official KCNA, which also strongly critiqued outside assessments of the Saturday ICBM launch.
North Korea gave its soldiers "an 'excellent mark'" for carrying out the "sudden launching drill" on Saturday, but South Korean analysts had pointed out the estimated nine hours between ordering and launch was not particularly rapid.