North Korea Fires 3 Missiles Into Sea

SEOUL, South Korea (TheStreet) -- North Korea fired three short-range guided missiles from its east coast on Saturday, South Korea's defense ministry said.

Two missiles were fired into the sea on Saturday morning and another followed in the afternoon, said Kim Min-seok, a ministry spokesman.

"We remain vigilant and prepared in case the launching of these missiles might be followed by a military provocation by the North," The New York Times quoted Kim as saying.

Missile launches, like those carried out on Saturday, are fairly routine for North Korea, BBC News said. The last such tests were reported in March.

But Saturday's tests come at a time when tensions between North and South Korea appeared to be easing slightly.

In April, tensions had been high when North Korea threatened to attack military installations belonging to South Korea, Japan and the United States. North Korea had also said it might restart a nuclear reactor that produced weapons-grade plutonium.

Also, an emergency military hotline between Pyongyang and Seoul was shut down, and North Korea withdrew more than 50,000 workers from the Kaesong factory zone on its border with South Korea.

Those threats came on the heels of U.N. sanctions imposed on North Korea in March after it carried out its third nuclear test. ,