SEOUL: North Korea Sunday test-fired 18 rockets into the sea, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said, the latest in a series of launches that have provoked criticism from Seoul and Washington.
The rockets were fired off the North’s east coast and flew about 70 km over the Sea of Japan (East Sea), a ministry spokesman said.
The ministry said 10 rockets were fired at 6:20 p.m. (0920 GMT), and eight more at 8.03 pm.
Seoul’s military “has maintained a close watch for possible North Korean provocations,” the spokesman said.
Yonhap news agency earlier reported that 10 short-range missiles were fired.
South Korean troops have increased vigilance following a series of rocket or missile launches in late February and this month.
The activity coincides with annual South Korean-US military exercises that started in February and will run until mid-April.
Pyongyang routinely condemns such war games as rehearsals for an invasion, while Seoul and Washington say they are purely defensive.