SEOUL — North Korea fired 10 short-range missiles into the sea off the east of the Korean peninsula on Sunday, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported, citing unidentified government officials in South Korea.
Yonhap said the missiles flew for 45 miles before splashing into the sea.
North Korea is not banned from short-range missile launches under U.N. sanctions and frequently tests its arsenal.
State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the U.S. was aware that North Korea fired the missiles and was closely monitoring the situation. "We once again call on North Korea to refrain from provocative actions that aggravate tensions," Psaki said.
The North has toned down its bellicose rhetoric towards the South, although it has denounced joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises that are currently taking place.
It undertook a series of short-range missile launches earlier this month as the joint exercises — which North Korea views as a threat to its security — started.
In early 2013, North Korea conducted its third nuclear weapons test, having successfully launched a long-range rocket in 2012 that critics say was aimed at proving technology for an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Both of these are banned under U.N. sanctions.
ED JONES / AFP - Getty Images file
SA-3 ground-to-air missiles are displayed during a military parade in honor of the 100th birthday of the late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang, on April 15, 2012. North Korea test-fired ten short-range missiles into the sea, a South Korean news agency reported on March 16, 2014, the latest in a series of launches that have provoked criticism from Seoul and Washington.
First published March 16 2014, 10:02 AM