North Korea has launched a “possible ballistic missile” into the sea off its east coast as the island of Ulleung-gun activates an air raid alarm.
The Japanese Ministry of Defence revealed Pyongyang had fired yet another projectile in a brief update.
Tokyo said: “A possible ballistic missile was launched from North Korea.
“We will let you know as soon as we have further news.”
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff also claimed that North Korea had launched “an unidentified ballistic missile toward the East Sea”.
They added: “Our military will never condone this provocation by North Korea, and will respond strictly and resolutely while closely cooperating with the US, while strengthening surveillance and vigilance.”
In a subsequent update, Seoul’s Ministry of Defence said North Korea fired three short-range ballistic missiles at around 8.51am (11.51pm GMT), one of which fell into waters 57 kilometres east of Sokcho.
The other missiles landed 26 kilometres south of the disputed inter-Korean sea border and 167 kilometres west of Ulleng County.
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has since ordered an emergency meeting of the National Security Council following the launch.
According to broadcaster YTN, an air raid siren was issued on the island of Ulleung-gun at 8.55am (11.55pm GMT).
Seoul said it raised the alert for residents on the island as a result of North Korea’s projectile launch.
A Ulleung-gun official also told Yonhap News Agency: “The air raid alarm sounded and some of the employees evacuated to the basement because it was a real situation.”
The missile launch comes after Pyongyang demanded that US military exercises with South Korea should come to a halt as it said provocation could draw “more powerful follow-up measures” on Tuesday.
Pak Jong Chon, a Workers’ Party Secretary and ally to Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, said: “If the US and South Korea attempt to use armed forces against (North Korea) without any fear, the special means of the (North’s) armed forces will carry out their strategic mission without delay.”
He added: “The US and South Korea will have to face a terrible case and pay the most horrible price in history.
“It should be noted that in the present situation, it is a big mistake to accept this as a threat warning only.”
American and South Korean forces began their so-called Vigilant Storms exercises on Monday.