- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 16, 2014

South Korean defense officials said Sunday that North Korea has fired at least 10 short-range rockets off its east coast in an apparent drill.

North Korea has conducted a string of similar launches in recent weeks in protest of the ongoing, joint military drills by the U.S. and South Korea.

The rockets were fired toward the Sea of Japan, according to the South Korean officials, who asked not to be identified for security purposes, CNN reported.

A report by the Associated Press said that 18 short-range rockets were fired in total.

“We estimate the rockets traveled about 70 kilometers in the open waters,” one of the officials said, according to CNN.

North Korea said the drills are preparation for an invasion.

“It is justifiable self-defense behavior for us to conduct these military exercises in order to preserve peace in the region and to protect the safety of our people and our country,” the government said, according to state-run media.