An early weekend surprise emerged out of North Korea on Saturday: the launch of a "barrage" of short-range "projectiles," which flew for up to 125 miles before landing in the East Sea, per the Yonhap News Agency. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the "multiple rounds" originated in the eastern coastal town of Wonsan between 9:06am and 9:27am local time. Fox News notes that South Korea initially said the North fired short-range "missiles," but then changed that simply to "projectiles." If confirmed they were missiles, it would be the first such launch out of North Korea since November 2017, though ABC News notes that was a long-range Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile. "Korea and the United States are working closely together to maintain their ready preparedness," the JCS said in its statement.
The White House weighed in as well. "We are aware of North Korea's actions ... [and] will continue to monitor as necessary," press secretary Sarah Sanders said. The AP notes that the launch is "a likely sign of Pyongyang's growing frustration at stalled diplomatic talks with Washington." The fact that the projectiles fired were short-range ones has kept concern somewhat tamped down. "I don't think we should get too excited about a short-range test unless someone can tell us that it was a long-range test that failed," ex-State Department official Stephen Ganyard tells ABC. "A short-range test is Kim demanding attention, not making a statement." (Read more North Korea stories.)