North Korea Fires Anti-Ship Missiles, Fifth Launch Since South Korea's Moon Elected

North Korea has fired several anti-ship missiles from the coast of the city of Wonsan, the South Korean military announced Thursday. The missiles managed to fly for 125 miles before landing in water.

It was the latest barrage of an increasingly frequent series of missile tests carried out by the North Korean regime. Pyongyang had launched three in fewer than three weeks last month.

The launches have created international alarm, and there are fears that North Korea is moving towards its ultimate goal of putting a nuclear warhead on a missile.

The launch is the fifth since liberal Moon Jae-in was elected as South Korea's new president in May. Moon has suggested improving relations between the two countries through more peaceful means.

Over the last two months, the USS Carl Vinson, a third-Nimitz class aircraft supercarrier, has sailed in the South China Sea to conduct drills with the South Korean military. Roh Jae-cheon, the South Korean military spokesman, said the purpose of the North Korean tests was likely to " show off its ability to precisely target a large warship."

"By testing different types of missiles, North Korea also appears to be aiming to secure the upper hand in relations with South Korea and the United States," he said.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency said the missiles began firing at 06:18 am and continued to fire for about a minute.

"It is incumbent upon us to assume that North Korea today can range the United States with an ICBM carrying a nuclear warhead," Vice Admiral James Syring from the U.S. Department of Defense, told a congressional hearing.