North Korea test-fired a pair of ballistic missiles into the sea early today, South Korea's Yonhap News reports. The mid-range missiles traveled some 400 miles, ending their trajectory in the sea off North Korea's east coast. It was the country's longest-ranging launch since it fired a satellite into orbit in 2012, the Los Angeles Times reports. A spokesman for the South's defense ministry says the launch "clearly violates UN Security Resolutions and is a grave provocation to Republic of Korea (South) and the international community." The US also criticized the "troubling and provocative" move.
The UN Security Council has banned Pyongyang from holding long-range missile tests, the Times notes; the launch blatantly flouts that ban. The launch came within hours of talks between the US, South Korea, and Japan in the Netherlands, the BBC reports; today is also the fourth anniversary of a South Korean warship's sinking. The South says it plans "countermeasures" alongside the UN. Recently, Pyongyang has fired a number of short-range missiles, the BBC notes. The latest tests, however, mark the first time the North has fired a Nodong (or Rodong, per Yonhap) missile since 2009. Such missiles can travel about 600 miles. (Read more North Korea stories.)