Pyongyang labels the exercises as a provocative rehearsal for an invasion, while South Korea and the US insist they are purely defensive in nature.
SEOUL, South Korea North Korea fired several rockets into the sea Saturday in the continuation of its rapid nuclear and missile expansion, prompting South Korea to press ahead with military drills involving USA troops that have angered Pyongyang.
The first and third missiles failed in flight, while the second appears to have blown up nearly immediately, said U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii, which monitors North Korean missiles.
"I think it is worth noting that we have had no missile launches or provocative acts on the part of North Korea since the unanimous adoption of the U.N. Security Council resolution", Tillerson said Tuesday, according to a transcript of his briefing.
Kim says North Korea's large-sized artillery rockets blur the boundaries between artillery systems and ballistic missiles because they create their own thrust and are guided during delivery.
The launches come as tens of thousands of South Korean and USA troops take part in joint military drills in the South, which Pyongyang views as a highly provocative rehearsal for an invasion of its own territory.
The incident happened amid rising tensions between the US and North Korea, which has been warned by President Trump about missile build-up and development of nuclear armaments.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump has been briefed and "we are monitoring the situation".
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The rival Koreas recently saw their always testy relationship get worse after Trump traded warlike threats.
The three launches come as the US and South Korean militaries hold the joint Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises in South Korea, which Pyongyang considers to be a provocation and threat to its security.
If North Korea has, in fact, fired off a salvo of ballistic missiles, it may indicate that they are training for war rather than testing.
"Although the launches were no threat to Guam, it reminds us that we can not be complacent", said George Charfauros, the homeland security adviser on the U.S. territory.
The command had said earlier that the first and third missiles, fired early on Saturday, had "failed in flight".
It is also believed to be developing a solid-fuel missile that could be used for submarine launches.
In South Korea, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missiles were launched at 6:49 am on Saturday local time and flew more than 250 kilometres northeast, the Yonhap news agency reported.
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