N Korea fires 7 missiles into sea

N Korea fires 7 missiles into sea
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (front) visits the construction site of the Mirae Scientists Street in Pyongyang in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang February 15, 2015.

SEOUL - North Korea fired seven ground-to-air missiles into the sea off its east coast on Thursday in an operation supervised by leader Kim Jong-Un amid heightened military tensions, South Korea's Defence Ministry said Friday.

A ministry spokesman said Kim was understood to have been on hand when the missiles were fired early Thursday evening from a site near the eastern town of Sondok.

The exercise came at a time of elevated tensions with North Korea's condemnation of annual US-South Korea military drills that Pyongyang views as rehearsals for invasion.

"We see this as another show of force by the North related to the exercises," the spokesman told AFP.

One of the joint drills, Key Resolve, wound up Friday, but the other, Foal Eagle, is set to continue until April 24.

The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions between the two Koreas, who remain technically at war because the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a ceasefire rather than a peace treaty.

North Korea signalled its displeasure when this year's drills began by firing two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast.

UN resolutions ban any ballistic missile test by North Korea.

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