North Korea launched three short-range missiles into the sea off its east coast on Saturday, the South Korean Defense Ministry said. The tests broke the recent relative silence from the North, but the move was much less provocative than what had been feared in the tense weeks after the country's nuclear test in February.
Short-range tests from North Korea are fairly routine, and as it often has, the North fired the missiles away from South Korea and toward the northeast.
South Korean and American officials have worried that North Korea would cap weeks of bluster after the nuclear blast with the test of a longer-range missile that might show worrisome improvements in Pyongyang's arsenal. Analysts say that missile, called the Musudan, might be capable of striking as far as Guam, where American troops are stationed. The North has threatened to strike bases there if provoked.