SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea fired multiple cruise missiles into waters off its western coast Tuesday in its third launch of such weapons this month, South Korea's military said, as the North continues to flaunt its expanding arsenal of weapons designed to overwhelm its rivals' defenses.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the South Korean and U.S. militaries were analyzing the launches that were detected around 7 a.m. It did not immediately provide more details, including the number of missiles fired, how far they flew, and whether they were launched from land or sea.
The launch followed tests on Jan. 24 and Jan. 28 of the Pulhwasal-3-31 cruise missile North Korea says is designed to be fired from submarines.
Following the second launch, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reiterated his goal of building a nuclear-armed navy to counter what he described as growing external threats. It's not yet clear if that water launch Sunday was conducted from an actual submarine or an underwater barge.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula are at their highest point in years, after Kim accelerated his weapons development to an unprecedented pace while issuing provocative nuclear threats against the United States, South Korea and Japan.
The United States and its Asian allies in response have strengthened their combined military exercises, which are increasingly featuring U.S. strategic assets such as aircraft carriers, long-range bombers…