South Korea says North Korea has fired several cruise missiles into the sea

South Korea’s military said that North Korea fired several cruise missiles from waters off an eastern military port, in the country’s latest weapons demonstration in the face of deepening tensions with the United States, South Korea and Japan.

The South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff didn’t immediately say how many missiles were fired or how far they flew. It wasn’t immediately clear how the launches were conducted, although the North has previously tested cruise missiles from sea assets.

The launches were the North Korea’s third-known launch event of 2024, following a previous round of cruise missile tests on Jan. 24 and a Jan. 14 test-firing of the country’s first solid-fuel intermediate range ballistic missile.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have increased in recent months as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un continues to accelerate his weapons development and issue provocative threats of nuclear conflict with the US and its Asian allies.

The US, South Korea and Japan in response have been expanding their combined military exercises, which Kim portrays as invasion rehearsals, and sharpening their deterrence strategies built around nuclear-capable U.S. assets.