Later in the day, The Pentagon confirmed in a statement, cited by Reuters, that the DPRK carried out multiple ballistic missile launches. According to the US Department of Defence (DoD), the missiles flew about 300 km (185 miles) and landed in the ocean.
"During the early morning hours on 9 May Washington DC local time, early evening hours in Seoul and Tokyo, North Korea flight-tested multiple ballistic missiles from a location in northwestern North Korea […] The missiles flew east from the launch area to distances in excess of 300 km before impacting in the ocean", Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn said in a statement as quoted by Yonhap.
The North Korean official KCNA news agency said hours after the South Korean media reported of the suspected short-range missile launches, that the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had personally ordered the start of the drill on Thursday.
The launches followed the talks between Kim and Russian President Vladimir Putin in late April in Vladivostok, as well as the deadlocked denuclearization negotiations between Kim and US President Donald Trump in Hanoi in February.
North Korea has been subject to numerous UN and the US sanctions over the past 10 years for its nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
Denuclearization talks between the United States and North Korea have stalled following the summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, in February. An agreement was expected to be signed at the second summit, but Trump walked away from talks after Kim demanded the full removal of sanctions imposed on North Korea without pledging to denuclearize the sites that the United States had specified.
Meanwhile, Trump has expressed confidence that the denuclearization deal with North Korea was still possible, despite the reports about Pyongyang’s latest missile launches.