After a hiatus of nearly a month that was lauded by the U.S., North Korea launched three short-range ballistic missiles early Saturday, with two flying roughly 250 km and the other exploding almost immediately, the U.S. military's Pacific Command said.

Pacific Command said the three launches occurred near Kittaeryong, in eastern Gangwon province over a period of 30 minutes. It had initially said that the first and third missiles "failed in flight."

The Japanese government also confirmed the launches, with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga saying that they posed no direct threat to the security of Japan and that they did not land within Japanese territory or inside its exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan.