North Korea fires three missiles into sea

Posted August 29, 2017

North Korea launched at least three ballistic missiles into the East Sea on Saturday morning, resuming a provocative act in a month despite Washington's diplomacy-first approach toward the belligerent regime.

The US Pacific Command has confirmed the launches and added that "the first and third missiles failed in flight", while the second "appears to have blown up nearly immediately".

The North earlier threatened to shoot four intermediate-range ballistic missiles toward the US territory of Guam.

The U.S. Pacific Command has revised its assessment of the latest North Korean missile launches, saying the first and third projectiles did not fail in flight.

"We are working with our interagency partners on a more detailed assessment and we will provide a public update if warranted", Commander Dave Benham, a spokesman for Pacific Command, said in a statement.

The United States and South Korea are technically still at war with the North because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

Yoshihide Suga told reporters the missiles early Saturday did not fall into Japan's territorial waters or the coastal 200-mile economic zone.

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North Korean state-run media said the country's military could strike the U.S. at any time and that neither Guam, Hawaii nor the USA mainland could avoid the "merciless strike".

The North bombarded Yeonpyeong island in November 2010 in response to a South Korean live-fire drill near the tense sea border, killing four South Koreans - two soldiers and two civilians - and prompting Seoul to return the fire.

One of the 3 missiles blew up "almost immediately", with none of the weapons posing a threat to either North America or the U.S. territory of Guam, the spokesman said.

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson openly said in Washington that, "I am pleased to see that the regime in Pyongyang has certainly demonstrated some level of restraint that we've not seen in the past".

In this undated photo distributed Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, by the North Korean government, leader Kim Jong Un, center, visits the Chemical Material Institute of Academy of Defense Science at an undisclosed location in North Korea.

The rival Koreas recently saw their always testy relationship get worse after Mr Trump traded warlike threats.