North Korea test fires surface-to-ship missiles, South Korea says

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Thursday morning fired what’s believed to be surface-to-ship missiles, South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said.

Kim Jong Un’s regime fired four anti-ship cruise missiles, according to a US defense official.

The official said the Pentagon is not expected to release the typical statement about tracking the launches because these were not ballistic missile capable of posing a long-range threat.

North Korean state media has made no mention of the reported launches.

The South Korean military said the missiles flew about 124 miles. The launches occurred near the port city of Wonsan on North Korea’s east coast.

This is the fourth missile test since South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office in May. The preceding test came at the end of May when North Korea fired what it claimed was a new type of ballistic missile.

That projectile also was fired from Wosnan. Japanese and South Korean monitors said it flew 248 miles over the Sea of Japan, also know as the East Sea.

South Korea’s new government has suspended the deployment of a controversial U.S. missile defense system that strained relations with China and angered North Korea.

Thursday’s launch is the first since the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed new sanctions last week.

The resolution slapped even more sanctions on North Korea and condemned the regime’s continued proliferation of its nuclear and ballistic program.

The sanctions extend a travel ban and asset freeze on high-level North Korean officials and state entities that deal with the program, according to the resolution.

China has called on Pyongyang to suspend its testing while calling on the U.S. to stop military exercises on and near the Korean Peninsula, which North Korea sees as a threat to its sovereignty.