North Korea has fired four short-range missiles toward the sea off the country's east coast, a media official at South Korea's Defence Ministry said, while providing no information on the purpose of the firing.

North Korea fired the missiles at 5.42pm (8.42am GMT) on Thursday from a mountain site just north of the border with the South, the official told Reuters. 

North Korea has in the past fired short-range missiles into the sea as part of military exercises. It was not reported where the latest salvo landed.

However, they came days after the beginning of annual joint US and South Korean military exercises which the North
routinely denounces as preparation for war. 

The North was angered this month when a nuclear-capable US B-52 bomber made a sortie over South Korea, though the flight did not trigger a sharp escalation of military tension.

The South's Yonhap news agency said the missiles fired by the North were believed to be Scud variants, with a range of about 200km.

Source: Reuters