North Korea fired three medium-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast Monday, landing close to Japan, in a show of force that coincided with the meeting of leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies in neighboring China.

North Korea launched the missiles, believed to be Rodongs, from a site south of Pyongyang at 12:14 p.m. local time, South Korea’s military said. They flew about 600 miles and landed well inside Japan’s air defense identification zone, the area in which Tokyo controls aircraft movement.

The launches, coming as the G-20 meeting continued in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou and just days before North Korea marks the 68th anniversary of the formation of its government, constituted an “armed protest,” a South Korean military spokesman said.

“We are fully prepared to fight tonight in case North Korea makes any provocative moves,” an official from South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff added, according to the Yonhap News Agency, using the catchphrase of the American and South Korean military allies.

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Image courtesy of Reuters

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