SEOUL, March 29 (UPI) -- North Korea launched a short-range missile that traveled more than 120 miles before landing near the China border, according to South Korea military officials.
The missile was fired at 5:40 p.m. Tuesday, local time, Yonhap reported.
Pyongyang could face backlash from Beijing as China has expressed its displeasure with North Korea's military provocations and has supported the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
The rocket type has yet to be identified but the missile was fired from a 300-mm multiple rocket launcher, according to Seoul's joint chiefs of staff.
The rocket's launch into the interior of the country was likely intentional and part of a target-hitting practice, one South Korea military official said.
But another unidentified Seoul official told News 1 that the test-firing trajectory was the result of an "inability" to launch the missile into the Sea of Japan, or the East Sea.
North Korea previously fired five short-range missiles into the waters off the eastern coast of the peninsula, a few weeks after introducing the multiple-rocket launcher system that it appears to be putting in use.
Seoul said that South Korea's military is maintaining full preparedness while closely monitoring the situation.
Kim Jong Un called the exercises last week a "final test-firing" and ordered the launchers be deployed in case of combat.
Pyongyang's state news agency KCNA described the launches from its latest technology as "accurate as threading a needle" and said that Kim had expressed "great satisfaction" with the practice.
In total, North Korea has fired a total of 16 short-range projectiles in 2016.
North Korea provocations have grown with the adoption of a sanctions resolution at the United Nations Security Council, and the country has condemned the joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises.