North Korea launched what appear to be ballistic missiles from its east coast on Thursday, South Korea’s defence ministry said - in what would be the latest in a series of tests by Pyongyang in defiance of UN sanctions.“North Korea fired multiple unidentified projectiles, assumed to be surface-to-ship missiles, this morning from the vicinity of Wonsan, Gangwon Province,” it said. The launches come less than a week after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed fresh sanctions on the reclusive state, which said it would continued to pursue its nuclear and missile programme without delay. It also comes a day after South Korea said it will hold off on installing remaining components of a controversial US anti-missile defense system that has angered North Korea’s main ally, China. Under third-generation leader Kim Jong Un, North Korea has been conducting missile tests at an unprecedented pace in an effort to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of hitting the mainland United States. Compared to the different types of ballistic missiles Pyongyang has recently tested, the missiles launched on Thursday are considered to be more defensive in nature, designed to defend against threats such as enemy warships.North Korea unveiled a number of new weapons at a massive military parade on April 15 to mark the birth anniversary of the state’s founding leader and has since tested some of them.