S.Korea military: N.Korea fired cruise missiles

South Korean defense officials say North Korea fired multiple cruise missiles toward the Yellow Sea early on Wednesday.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff say the launch took place around 7 a.m., but did not provide further information on the range of the missiles or other details. They say they are still analyzing data with the US military.

The launches are the first by North Korea since September, when Pyongyang test-launched two long-range strategic cruise missiles toward the Yellow Sea for what it said was a drill simulating tactical nuclear attack.

The North said in its 5-year defense plan, announced in 2021, that it would develop medium- and long-range cruise missiles.

Observers say the weapons are intended for use in the event of contingencies on the Korean Peninsula, with potential targets being South Korean and US military bases, including US facilities located in Japan.

US and South Korean forces have been on high alert for military activity by North Korea this month.

The North Korean military fired artillery shells toward the Yellow Sea over three consecutive days starting January 5.

On January 14, Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile toward the Sea of Japan, and subsequently announced that it had "successfully test-fired a solid-fuel intermediate-range ballistic missile."