North Korea launches eight short-range ballistic missiles into the sea

North Korea fired eight short-range ballistic missiles into the waters off its east coast today.

The missiles were launched from the Sunan area, near the North Korean capital Pyongyang, into waters east of the Korean peninsula between 9.08am-9.43am local time in Seoul, according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

South Korea's national security chief Kim Sung-han will hold a meeting of the National Security Council's standing committee to discuss the launch, the presidential office said.

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The Japanese Prime Minister's Office also confirmed a launch in a tweet, saying that North Korea launched a "possible ballistic missile" on Sunday.

It said it will inform the public as soon as more information is available.

The missile marks the 17th launch by North Korea this year.

The last, on May 25, came just as US President Joe Biden had concluded his trip to Asia and was returning back to the United States.

In response to the launch, the South Korean military strengthened its surveillance and is "closely cooperating and maintaining full readiness posture with the US," the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

The launch also comes a day after the navies of South Korea and the United States concluded a three-day combined exercise in the waters off Japan's Okinawa, South Korea's military confirmed to CNN.

In a press release, the US Navy said it had deployed its nuclear-powered aircraft carrier the USS Ronald Reagan along with the Carrier Strike Group 5.

Also involved in the exercise was the South Korean Navy's ROKS Sejong The Great and amphibious assault ship Marado, the US Navy said.

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