north korea, missile, submarine.jpg
Photograph: EPA/KCNA

North Korea fired three ballistic missiles towards the Sea of Japan on Monday, the South Korean defence ministry said.

A spokesman did not indicate what missile type was tested or how far they flew.

The reported test coincided with the final day of a summit of the 20 leading and emerging economies, including the US and South Korea, in China as world leaders have sought to isolate North Korea over its nuclear provocations.

In Hangzhou, a US official said the United States was "closely monitoring" the situation.

The Pentagon confirmed the launch and said two of the missiles were intermediate range ballistic missiles while the third was still being assessed.

According to South Korean reports, the missile test came shortly after China's president Xi Jinping met with South Korean President Park Geun Hye.

Park said at a meeting with Xi on the sidelines of the summit that North Korea's nuclear tests and missile launches posed a challenge to the South's ties with China, Yonhap news agency reported.

Xi warned Park against stationing US anti-aircraft weapons systems in South Korea. The government in Seoul says these are intended to protect against North Korean missile attacks.

"The wrong approach to the problem would not contribute to strategic stability in the region and could intensify the conflict," Xi said, according to China's Xinhua news agency.

In August, North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile from a submarine.

Tensions have been higher on the Korean peninsula since a series of North Korean tests - including an atomic test - at the start of the year.

The European Union slammed the test as "yet another in a string of serious violations" in a statement released on behalf of the bloc's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini.

Related stories

Latest news

Plane crashes at airport in Melbourne

A five-passenger charter plane has crashed into a building next to Essendon Airport in Melbourne, with witnesses reporting explosions, fire and black smoke, police said Tuesday.

Air France pilots give green light to lower cost subsidiary

Members of Air France's main pilots union on Monday voted to accept the creation of a new lower cost subsidiary that the flag carrier hopes will help it compete on long-haul routes.

US Army General McMaster tapped as Trump's national security advisor

Army Lieutenant General HR McMaster will be the new White House national security advisor, US President Donald Trump told reporters Monday.

Greece's creditors want sweeping reforms before next bailout payment

Greece must make sweeping reforms to its labour market, pension system and collective bargaining agreements in order to receive its next vital bailout payment, the country's European creditors said Monday.

President wants to recall "politically appointed ambassadors", can't do it without gov't

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said that many politically appointed Croatian ambassadors were not carrying out state policies but that she could not replace them without the government to appoint career diplomats who would fight for Croatia's interests.

Izetbegovic hopes ICJ will confirm Serbia's responsibility for genocide

The Bosniak member of the tripartite presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bakir Izetbegovic, on Monday rejected criticism stirred up by the announcement that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) would be requested to review its judgement made after Bosnia sued Serbia for genocide.

British lawmakers locked in heated debate over Trump's state visit

Allowing US President Donald Trump to visit Britain would be akin to "pimping out the Queen," one British lawmaker said Monday during a heated debate in British parliament over two petitions concerning the US leader's future state visit.

Vitaly Churkin, Russia's sharp-tongued ambassador to the UN, dies

Russia's long-time ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died in New York on Monday, following a career that spanned four decades and saw Russia emerge from the Soviet Union and experience many turbulent events in its relations with the West.

French police raid National Front over European Parliament payments

France's far-right National Front Monday said that investigators had searched its offices in relation to allegations that it misused European Parliament funds.

Unhappy Presidents' Day: Trump still manoeuvring after Sweden comment

Donald Trump used his first Presidents' Day in office to continue trying to talk his way out of comments implying a terrorist attack in Sweden that never happened.

Croatia supports Kosovo's territorial integrity - Grabar-Kitarovic

Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on Monday expressed the support to Kosovo's territorial integrity and Euro-Atlantic aspirations during her talks with the visiting Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj.

Petrov rules out early parliamentary election

Parliament Speaker and Bridge party leader Bozo Petrov on Monday dismissed speculation about a reshuffle of the parliamentary majority, saying an early election was likelier, but that right now he did not see "such a scenario."