North Korea test-fired four short-range missiles off its eastern coast today, a move that had been highly anticipated as the nation continues to defy U.N. sanctions.
The four missiles were launched in the late afternoon and early evening from a base near the eastern coastal city of Wonsan, a South Korean defense spokesman told South Korea's Yonhap News Agency.
Each of the surface-to-ship cruise missiles flew about 60 miles before splashing into the sea between North Korea and Japan, according to news reports.
The tests came as no surprise to the region and the rest of the world because North Korea had declared a no-sail zone last month in waters off its east coast for military exercises through July 10.
Concerns about the nation's nuclear weapons program escalated after reports surfaced that North Korea may launch a long-range missile toward Hawaii this holiday weekend. In response, the United States increased security around the islands and has been tracking a North Korean ship it suspects may be carrying nuclear weapons.