SEOUL, March 16 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) fired off 18 more short-range missiles toward the Sea of Japan on Sunday, Yonhap News Agency reported.
The DPRK launched 10 missiles at 6:20 p.m. local time, which flew about 70 km before landing in the eastern waters. Then it launched another eight missiles that lasted five minutes at around 8:03 p.m., the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
"The rockets were fired from (DPRK's) east coastal region near Wonsan and flew eastward," Yonhap quoted the military as saying, adding that the military was keeping utmost combat readiness in case of more possible launches.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff called on the DPRK to stop further provocative actions.
The military estimated that the launched projectiles were the FROG short-range surface-to-surface missiles, which were introduced from the then Soviet Union in the 1960's.
The DPRK has recently conducted several rounds of missile launches, which were seen as a response to the joint South Korea-U. S. military drills. It has fired four short-range ballistic missiles on its east coast on March 4.
South Korean military said the new round of launches could also be part of the Pyongyang's winter-season military exercises.
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 started on Feb. 24. Some 12,700 U.S. soldiers, including more than 6,000 forces from overseas bases, joined the war game.
The Key Resolve command post exercises ended earlier this the month, while the Foal Eagle combat field training still lasts until April 18.
Pyongyang said that its recent short-range missile launches were "successful normal training within its own territory," the official KCNA news agency reported on March 5.
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