North Korea fired three apparent short-range ballistic missiles on Saturday to cap a record-breaking year of launches as leader Kim Jong Un looked set to conclude a key ruling party meeting on the country's policy for 2023.

Japan's Defense Ministry said the missiles all traveled about 350 kilometers, hitting a maximum altitude of 100 km before falling into waters of the Sea of Japan outside Japan's exclusive economic zone, which extends 200 nautical miles (370 km) from its coast.

Tokyo strongly protested the latest launches, part of what it said were a series of recent actions by North Korea that "threaten the peace and security of Japan, the region and the international community."