OREANDA-NEWS. North Korea has conducted another test launch of two cruise missiles, Reuters reported, citing South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

This is the fifth missile launch by the DPRK since the beginning of the year, Reuters and Kyodo reported.

On January 17, South Korea reported North Korea launched an unidentified projectile towards the Sea of Japan. According to Kyodo, it could have been a ballistic missile.

The next day, the DPRK said the launch was part of a tactical guided missile test. Pyongyang had previously launched three other rockets, on January 5, 11 and 14, Kyodo reported.

In Japan, authorities set up a crisis headquarters under the office of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida following the missile launch. According to the country's Cabinet Secretary General, Japan "strongly condemns" the DPRK as the missile launches threaten the security of the entire region as well as the global community.

Amid the DPRK's military activity, the United States has threatened it with new UN sanctions. The US Permanent Mission to the organisation said each launch violated UN Security Council resolutions.

In response, Pyongyang promised to respond to the new possible restrictions "strongly and firmly", saying it "will not give up its legitimate rights". The DPRK said the weapons it is developing do not pose a threat to neighbouring countries and are not aimed at any of them. The missile launches are part of the army modernization process, the DPRK's Foreign Ministry added.