North Korea has launched four ballistic missiles that traveled about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) off the Sea Of Japan, an action that has been described by Japanese Prime Minister Abe, as “an extremely dangerous action.”

Wide condemnation

Japan, South Korea, and the United States have all confirmed the launch of four missiles towards the East Sea. A US official said the projectiles were a kind of intermediate range missile, Three of which landed in the exclusive economic zone of Japan, according to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The launch covered a range of about 200 nautical miles from the Japanese coastline.

Abe said that the action was a clear violation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution, in a speech he made at the Japanese Parliament early Monday.

Reason for North Korea's action

Experts suggest the action was in reaction to joint military exercises being conducted between the United States and South Korea militaries, which North Korea sees as a move in preparation for possible attack on its territory. The missile launch was conducted in Tongchang-ri, in the Northern Pyongan province of North Korea, and the rockets flew 260 kilometers about (260 miles), A south Korea’s spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s Acting President has told the South Korean National Security Council that North’s action was a direct challenge to the international community and that he condemns North Korea’s action in the strongest terms.

Violation of UN resolution

The US Department of State said they are prepared to use their full capabilities at disposal to deter the growing threat from North Korea. The DPRK’S action is aimed at provoking international community’s resolution to counter the North’s banned nuclear program.

The United States and their South Korean counterpart are currently conducting an annual military exercise, named the Foal Eagle, which is purely defensive in nature, according to authorities from both countries.

The exercise began on Wednesday, March 1st and is expected to end on April 30, 2017.

The DPRK has denounced the exercise describing it as preparation for an invasion, and warned of retaliatory measures should they exercise provoked the country further.