SEOUL: South Korea’s Defence Minister Lee Jong Sup said Thursday that North Korea fired four cruise missiles the previous day, though a detailed analysis is still under way to confirm their specifics.

Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected “multiple” missile launches from the North’s eastern city of Hamhung on Wednesday morning, reported Yonhap news agency.

“We believe four (missiles were fired),“ the minister said during a session of the National Assembly’s committee on national defence. “We have conducted the initial analysis, and the South and the United States are examining it in a more detailed way.”

Commenting on whether the North has secured technologies to miniaturize a nuclear warhead and mount it on tactical weapons, the minister said the country is seen as having achieved “considerable” progress.

The North has been ratcheting up tensions through missile provocations, including a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile launch last week, as the South and the United States are conducting a major combined military exercise. - Bernama