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 on Monday fired two short-range ballistic missiles as the U.S. and South Korea conduct a large-scale naval exercise, according to the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The pair of ballistic missiles were launched at 7:47 a.m. and 8 a.m. from North Hwanghae province, the Joint Chiefs said in a message to news reporters Monday. The missiles traveled about 230 miles before splashing down in the Sea of Japan, or the East Sea, according to the message.

Both missiles flew 217 miles at a maximum altitude of 31 miles before falling into the sea outside of Japan's exclusive economic zone, according to a news release from Japan's Ministry of Defense.

The latest launches were “absolutely unacceptable,” and Japan is “continuing to closely cooperate with the United States and South Korea” in analyzing their flight, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a Monday news conference.

South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement Monday said the North's launches were a "clear violation" of U.N. Security Council resolutions and that they reveal Pyongyang's "own vulnerability and insecurity."

Monday’s launches mark the 10th and 11th ballistic missiles fired by North Korea in eight separate days of testing so far this year.

The communist regime last fired a single, short-range ballistic missile that flew eastward for roughly 500 miles on March 19.

“North Korea’s successive ballistic missile launches are a serious provocation that harms peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, as well as the international community,” the Joint Chiefs said in its message.

The missiles posed no immediate threat to the U.S. or its allies, according to a statement Monday from the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. However, they “highlight the destabilizing impact of [North Korea’s] unlawful [weapons of mass destruction] and ballistic missile programs.”

The launches come six days after U.S. and South Korean troops kicked off their Ssangyong exercise in and around the Korean Peninsula. The two-week exercise is the largest naval drill in five years and will include more than 30 ships and 70 aircraft from the two countries, as well as roughly 50 amphibious assault vessels.

Fighter jets roared off the USS Nimitz on Monday as the nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier and its battle group — including a guided missile cruiser and two destroyers — took part in air defense exercises and other drills with South Korean warships in waters near Jeju island, The Associated Press reported.

Around 5,500 U.S. sailors and Marines from the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group arrived in Busan on Thursday to take part in the exercise. Three ships, including the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island, make up the group.

Three days earlier, roughly 800 U.S. and South Korean soldiers concluded their land and air-based Warrior Shield exercise at six different training sites.

The scheduled joint military exercises in March are being conducted “to further enhance the [South Korean] and U.S. militaries’ cooperation through air, land, sea, space, cyber and special operations, and improve upon tactics, techniques and procedures,” according to a U.S. Forces Korea news release on March 13.

North Korea’s state-run website, Uriminzokkiri, in a blog post Monday described the joint exercises as “war devastation” and criticized South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol for fueling tensions in the region.

Stars and Stripes reporter Hana Kusumoto contributed to this report.

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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