North Korea fired three short-range ballistic missiles Saturday, the United States military said, reviving tensions with Washington after President Donald Trump had said Pyongyang was starting to show some "respect".
One appeared to have blown up nearly immediately while two flew about 250 km (155 miles) in a northeasterly direction, Pacific Command said, revising an earlier assessment that two of the missiles had failed in flight. David Benham, a spokesman for U.S. Pacific Command, said the missile launches occurred "between 11:49 a.m. and 12:19 p.m. Hawaii time August 25".
South Korea's defence ministry said "unidentified projectiles", fired at 6:49 am (2149 GMT Friday), flew some 250 kilometres towards the Sea of Japan.
All three appeared to be short-range missiles, rather than the long-range types created to be able to strike the United States, and were launched from Kittaeryong on North Korea's east coast.
"The reality vividly shows that the US ambition for stifling [North Korea] remains unchanged no matter how much water may flow under the bridge and the puppet group's ambition for invading the north remains unchanged", the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported.
The rival Koreas recently saw their always testy relationship get worse after Trump traded warlike threats.
Mr Tillerson's latest remarks came just after the United States announced new North Korea-related sanctions targeting Chinese and Russian firms and individuals for supporting Pyongyang's weapons programs.
In recent weeks the North has threatened to fire a salvo of missiles toward Guam, but has since backed away from the plan and tensions have eased.
Tillerson had said he hoped that the lack of missiles launches or other "provocative acts" by Pyongyang could mean a path could be opening for dialogue "sometime in the near future".
The U.S. State Department did not immediately comment about the Saturday missile launches. "The second missile launch. appears to have blown up nearly immediately", said the spokesman, Commander Dave Benham, adding that the launches happened over a span of 30 minutes.
"As long as the United States hostile policy and nuclear threat remains unchallenged, (North Korea) will never place its self-defensive nuclear deterrence on the negotiating table or step back an inch from the path it took to bolster the national nuclear force", Mr Ju said.
Japan's NHK broadcast said the projectiles did not appear to be objects that could threaten Japan's safety.
Kim reportedly told his troops that they should think of mercilessly wiping out the enemy with arms only and occupying Seoul at one go and the southern half of Korea..