North Korea on Saturday fired three ballistic missiles towards its eastern waters amid military tensions with South Korea, the Associated Press reported.

The launch of the short-range missiles took place a day after Seoul carried out a successful test of a solid-fuel space launch vehicle.

South Korea’s military said on Saturday that it detected “three short-range ballistic missiles launched by North Korea into the East Sea from the area of Chunghwa County, North Hwanghae Province”, AFP reported. The missiles travelled for about 350 kilometres and then landed in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

“Our military maintains a full readiness posture while closely cooperating with the [United States] and strengthening surveillance and vigilance,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. The military said that the launches constituted a “grave provocation” and that they undermine global peace.

The country’s President Yoon Suk-yeol described the firing of the missiles as intolerable and said that Pyongyang should realise that “provocations are always met with harsh consequences”.

The United States’ Indo-Pacific Command said that the launching of the missiles shows the “destabilising impact” of North Korea’s unlawful weapons programmes. It added that Washington’s commitments to the defence of South Korea and Japan “remain ironclad”.

Tensions have increased in the Korean peninsula in recent months as Pyongyang has tested a series of nuclear-capable missiles and also adopted a law allowing the preemptive use of the weapons on a broad number of issues.

In November, North Korea had fired a long-range and two short-range ballistic missiles, forcing Japan and South Korea to issue an emergency alert for their residents.

North Korea has argued its weapons tests are meant to be a warning to the United States and South Korea in the context of their joint military drills that it sees as an invasion rehearsal.