Seoul: North Korea fires 7 suspected artillery shells into seas during South Korea-US drills

South Korea's Defense Ministry says North Korea has fired seven suspected artillery shells into the ocean and calls it a provocative act.

In recent days, North Korea has launched six Scud missiles in what analysts see as a protest of ongoing U.S.-South Korean military drills. North Korea says the annual drills are a rehearsal for invasion, but Washington and Seoul say they are defensive.

North Korea also fired artillery shells late last month. Despite the firing, the North is seen as taking a softer stance toward the drills this year than last year because it wants better ties with the outside world to revive its struggling economy.

South Korea says the suspected artillery pieces have a range of 50 to 155 kilometers (30 to 95 miles).