According to the South Korean military, the North fired two short-range projectiles on Monday; these are the first launches from the country for over three months.
The launch came just two days North Korea’s state media said leader Kim Jong-un supervised an artillery drill aimed at testing combat readiness.
According to the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), the two devices were fired over the sea from the east coast in around the Wonsan area.
They went on to say that the projectiles travelled 240km (150 miles) and got up to an altitude of 35km before dropping into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan.
Japan’s defence ministry said it had not detected any projectile landing in Japanese territory or its exclusive economic zone, adding that there were no reports of damage to any ships or aircraft in the area.
According to North Korean media, the exercises are designed to test the combat readiness of units in frontline and eastern areas. The country appears to be continuing military drills, that Kim Jong-un was personally overseeing last Friday, JCS said.
Pyongyang carried out a series of weapons tests in 2019, often describing them as multiple launch rocket systems, although some experts claimed them to be ballistic missiles.
In November of last year, Kim Jong Un declared that North Korea no longer considered itself bound by its prohibitions on nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests, and threatened a demonstration of a “new strategic weapon” soon.
These new launches have proven that North Korea is determined to continue testing weapons, even as it tries to deal with a coronavirus outbreak that could put an intolerable strain on its poor health infrastructure.
The country has yet to report any coronavirus cases, although their state media have suggested that an unknown number of people have been quarantined after showing symptoms of the virus.