North Korean leader Kim Jong Un observes a missile launch in this undated photo from the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un observes a missile launch in this undated photo from the state-run Korean Central News Agency. (KCNA)

CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles off its eastern coast Tuesday morning, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The missiles were launched at 7:41 a.m. and 7:51 a.m. from Jangyon in the southwestern coastal province of South Hwanghae, the Joint Chiefs said in a message to news agencies. They flew roughly 385 miles before landing in the East Sea, or Sea of Japan, according to a Joint Chiefs’ update. 

South Korea considers missile launches “provocations that harm the peace and stability” of the region, the update stated.

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said the launches posed no immediate threat to “U.S. personnel or territory, or to our allies,” according to a Tuesday statement.

The missiles “highlight the destabilizing impact” of North Korea’s unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs, the command said.

A U.N. Security Council resolution on Oct. 16, 2006, prohibits North Korea from “all activities related to its ballistic missile program.”

The launches are North Korea’s sixth and seventh so far this year in five separate days of testing. The communist regime last fired a short-range ballistic missile on Thursday.

The North also said it fired a pair of cruise missiles Sunday from a submarine, according to a report Monday by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

Tuesday’s launches come a day after the start of the large-scale Freedom Shield exercise by U.S. and South Korean forces. The 11-day joint exercise involves training in the latest elements of defensive warfare, according to U.S. and South Korean military officials.

North Korea previously warned the U.S. and South Korea against the exercise, which it views as a rehearsal for an invasion. The regime also accuses the allies of raising regional tensions.

The ongoing drills “seriously encroach upon the security interests” of North Korea and threatened “strong counteractions” against the allies, Pyongyang’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement last month.

However, the U.S. and South Korean forces will “train normally,” regardless of “provocations” from the North, a Joint Chiefs spokesman said Tuesday in Seoul. Some government spokespeople in South Korea customarily speak to the media on condition of anonymity.

David Choi is based in South Korea and reports on the U.S. military and foreign policy. He served in the U.S. Army and California Army National Guard. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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