North Korea has launched what appears to be two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea, according to South Korea’s military.
It is the fifth set of missile tests in less than three weeks, and is being seen as a protest at the slow pace of nuclear talks with the US, and the ongoing US-South Korea joint military exercises in the region.
The launches were revealed hours after Donald Trump said he received a “beautiful” letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and predicted that they will engage in further talks to try and resolve the nuclear stand-off.
Mr Trump reiterated that he was not concerned by the weapons being launched, despite the threat they pose to the US allies in the region.
South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said that the alleged ballistic missiles were fired from the North’s eastern coast – travelling about 250 miles and reaching a height of 30 miles.
They landed in waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.
Officials in Seoul said that the tests were likely aimed at confirming how reliable the North’s newly developed weapons were, and demonstrating their resentment over the US-South Korea military drills.
Pyongyang has launched a number of short-range missiles over the last few weeks, saying that the allied military drills compel it to “develop, test and deploy the powerful physical means essential for national defence”.
Mr Trump has been downplaying the secretive state’s launches, with experts saying this tactic has allowed the country to intensify its testing activity, whilst it seeks to build leverage ahead of negotiations, which could start again sometime after the end of drills later in the month.