North Korea has launched its fifth missile test in less than two weeks. The launch comes as the US and South Korea are conducting joint military exercises.
North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast Saturday, South Korea's military said.
The missiles were launched near the northeastern city of Hamhung and flew 400 kilometers (250 miles), reaching a maximum altitude of 48 kilometers (30 miles) before crashing into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan.
The rogue regime has conducted five missile tests within the past two weeks in response to joint US-South Korea military drills that began this week.
Very beautiful letter'
The launch came hours after US President Donald Trump said he agreed with North Korea's opposition to the military drills after receiving a "very beautiful letter" from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump also downplayed previous missile launches, saying: "There have been no nuclear tests. The missile tests have all been short-range. No ballistic missile tests. No long-range missiles."
The South Korean military said there was a "high" possibility of further missile launches and that it was "monitoring the situation in case of additional launches while maintaining a readiness posture."
North Korea says the joint US-South Korean military drills violate agreements made between Kim and Trump at their first face-to-face meeting in Singapore in June 2018. The US and South Korea scaled down the exercises following the summit.
The fallout comes amid an overall lack of progress in denuclearization talks since Trump and Kim's third and most recent on June 30, at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea.
Multiple UN Security Council resolutions ban North Korea from testing ballistic missiles, whether short, medium or long-range. cmb, cw/amp (AFP, AP, Reuters)