South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the country's military detected "two short-range ballistic missiles launched by North Korea into the East Sea from the Sunan area" at about 7:30 PM local time Thursday. The East Sea is also known as the Sea of Japan.
The joint chiefs said South Korea was "maintaining a readiness posture while closely cooperating with the U.S. while strengthening surveillance and vigilance in preparation for additional provocations."
The missile tests came after the North Korean military vowed to respond to South Korea and the US holding large live-fire military drills on the border between North and South Korea on Thursday.
An article published by the North's state-run KCNA news agency quoted a spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense as saying the country "strongly denounces the provocative and irresponsible moves of the puppet military authorities escalating the military tension in the region despite repeated warnings, and warns them solemnly."
"Our response to this is inevitable," the official was quoted as saying, without providing any details of the planned response.
Despite the domestic crisis, North Korea responds to South Korea-US proximity with frequent missile tests and continues to develop weapons.
In April, Kim's military leaders claimed to have flight-tested a solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time ever, which would represent a significant breakthrough in North Korea's efforts to acquire a more powerful, harder-to-detect and shoot down missile capable of hitting the continental U.S.
In May, North Korea confirmed a failed attempt to launch a spy satellite into space, in another move that would be seen as a major provocation by its neighbors and the United States. The botched attempt triggered emergency alerts in Seoul and on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa.
North Korea said then that efforts were already underway to try the launch again.
Source: CBS News