North Korea fired unidentified projectiles on Thursday, South Korea's military said, the first such launch in nearly a month, amid a stalemate in denuclearization talks between Pyongyang and Washington, as a year-end deadline looms to strike a deal.
Japan's Coast Guard said it had detected what appeared to be a missile launched by the North and was monitoring where it would land. The defense ministry said the projectile did not enter its airspace or its Exclusive Economic Zone, however.
South Korea's military said the North fired two projectiles from an eastern province into the sea off its coast. The launch is the first since the North fired two suspected missiles into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan on Oct. 31.
It comes after South Korea pulled back from a decision to scrap an intelligence-sharing pact with Japan, a key element of regional security cooperation between the two biggest Asian allies of the United States.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has set an end-of-the-year deadline for denuclearization talks with Washington, but negotiations have been at an impasse after a day-long working level meeting on Oct 5 ended without progress.
North Korean officials have warned the United States to abandon its hostile policy toward the North or Pyongyang would walk away from the talks.
The North has demanded the lifting of sanctions against it and the abandonment of joint military drills by the United States and South Korea, which it calls preparations for an invasion.