SEOUL, March 13 (UPI) -- A day before U.S.-South Korea military exercises ended on Friday, North Korea launched seven short-range missiles into the waters on the east coast of the Korean peninsula.
Prior to the launches, the North Koreans did not declare any no-sail or no-fly zones that could ensure the safety of passing ships or aircraft.
A total of seven surface-to-air missiles were launched, with one missile that could have traveled up to 260 kilometers, or 162 miles.
North Korea's missile firings were held a day before exercises under the Key Resolve command ended on Friday.
The exercise involved 8,600 U.S. troops and 10,000 South Korean soldiers.
Pyongyang has previously condemned the drills.
Also Thursday, an unnamed North Korean envoy to Beijing denounced the activism of defectors in South Korea, and said a human rights conference held in Washington was an "underhanded" ploy to flame anti-North Korea sentiment.
The Global Times quoted the embassy official as saying the retraction of statements published in the memoir of North Korean defector Shin Dong-hyuk was an example of defectors in South Korea fabricating stories in order to make a living.
He then told the Chinese media outlet that the defectors "betrayed the fatherland, deserted their families," adding "they are human scum destined to receive severe punishment."
The Global Times has drawn a critical eye in its coverage of sensitive Korea issues, Yonhap reported.