UPDATED (7:41 a.m.)-- North Korea fired four suspected short-range missiles into its eastern waters on Thursday, a South Korean official said.
North Korea routinely conducts short-range missile tests, but the latest came three days after South Korea and the U.S. began annual military drills that Pyongyang calls a rehearsal for invasion.
A Defense Ministry official said North Korea fired four projectiles believed to be short-range missiles with a range of more than 200 kilometers (about 125 miles) into the waters off its east coast. The official spoke anonymously citing department rules.
North Korea has recently eased tension by taking a series of conciliatory gestures toward South Korea such as allowing reunions between relatives who have been separated since the Korean war 60 years ago.
Earlier Thursday, North Korea presented to the media a South Korean missionary who it says was arrested last year for allegedly trying to establish underground Christian churches in the country.