ALERT North Korea fires 4 banned ballistic missiles from Tongchang-ri military base

©The Associated Press

North Korea fired four banned ballistic missiles on Monday that flew about 620 miles, with three of them landing in waters that Japan claims as its exclusive economic zone, South Korean and Japanese officials said.

The test-launches appeared to be a reaction to huge U.S.-South Korean military drills that those countries consider routine but that Pyongyang insists are an invasion rehearsal.

The missiles took off from Tongchang-ri, in northwest North Korea, and flew an average of 620 miles before falling into the sea between North Korea and Japan, said Noh Jae-chon, a South Korean military spokesman. The type of missile fired was not immediately clear, but Mr. Noh said it was unlikely that they were intercontinental ballistic missiles, which the North had recently threatened to test launch.

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