SEOUL, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) fired four short-range missiles, local media reported Thursday citing South Korean Defense Ministry.
The missiles were launched from Gitaeryeong area on the DPRK's southeastern coast at around 5:42 p.m. Thursday, toward the northeastern waters.
A Defense Ministry official said that the projectiles were estimated to be scud missiles with a range of more than 200 kms. It was the first time since July 4, 2009 that the DPRK fired short- range missiles.
The official said that it could be the modified type of the KN- 02 missile, noting that additional assessment is necessary to figure out the exact identification.
He said that the DPRK's move came after South Korea and the United States began their annual joint war games as scheduled despite the DPRK's demand for the delay or cancellation of the drills.
The "Key Resolve" command post exercise and the "Foal Eagle" field training exercise kicked off Monday morning, with participation of more than 6,000 American forces in South Korea.
With inter-Korean ties thawing, the U.S. military would reportedly deploy no nuclear-capable bombers or aircraft carriers during this year's drills.
The two Koreas ended a six-day reunion of families separated by the Korean War on Tuesday at the DPRK's Mount Kumgang resort where hundreds of Koreans met their long-lost relatives for the first time in six decades. It was the first reunion of separated families in over three years.
A patrol ship from the DPRK violated the disputed inter-Korean maritime border Monday night.
The South Korean military has heightened vigilance against possible provocations from the DPRK.