North Korea Fires Several Short-Range Missiles

North Korea has fired several short-range missiles towards the East Sea, the South Korean military says, in what is the first missile launch since 2017.

North Korea fired several short-range missiles from its east coast, South Korea's military said, the first missile launch since 2017 as it steps up pressure against the US after a failed nuclear summit.

The North fired an unidentified short-range missile from the city of Wonsan about 9am, South Korea's Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. The Office said it was conducting joint analysis with the US.

Several missiles flew 70km to 200km.

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The launch is the first since the North fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in November 2017, before declaring the construction of its nuclear force complete and extending an international olive branch.

Leader Kim Jong-un has vowed to cease testing nuclear weapons or ICBMs, but the North has conducted other weapons tests.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. IMAGE: AFP/Getty Images.

The missile firing, coming after the North's test of what it called a tactical weapons system, added to the pressure it has exerted on Washington in talks on ending the North's nuclear program.

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"It also seems clear that North Korea is angry over what appears to be a lack of flexibility in the Trump administration's position on relieving sanctions, sticking to a policy of 'maximum pressure'," said Harry Kazianis at the Center for the National Interest, a US think tank.

Kim has held two summits with President Donald Trump, the second in February in Vietnam, but failed to make progress on ending the North's nuclear program due to disagreement on dismantlement and sanctions relief.

Japan's Defence Ministry said the missiles didn't reach anywhere near the country's coast, and there was no security threat.

Japan is thought to be keen to avoid any harsh response as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks to secure his own summit with Kim.