US national security adviser Stephen Hadley said on Tuesday that the launch of missiles by North Korea was a "provocative behavior" but posed no apparent threat to US territory.
"We do consider it provocative behavior" as North Korea move violated a missile test moratorium, Hadley said.
Hadley said that the missile launch by North Korea posed no apparent threat to US territory as "a missile that fails after 40 seconds is not a threat to the United States," he said.
North Korea test fired a total of five missiles, including the long-range Taepodong 2 missile that resulted in failure about one minute after launch, US officials said.
North Korea first fired two Scud-type short-range missiles that landed in the Sea of Japan, a CNN television report said, citing a Pentagon official.
The United States has repeatedly urged North Korea not to launch such missiles and threatened that such a launch would be "unacceptable."
In Tokyo, Japan's Kyodo News, citing a Japanese government source, said North Korea fired the third missile at around 5 AM Wednesday local time (20:00 GMT, Tuesday).
Earlier, Japan's public broadcaster NHK reported two missile launches by North Korea.
A ballistic Rodong missile was fired by North Korea at 3:32 AM Wednesday local time (18:32 GMT, Tuesday). Its warhead dropped into the Sea of Japan six minutes after the launch, NHK said.
The second missile was launched about 15 minutes later, NHK said.
(Xinhua News Agency July 5, 2006)