North Korea shot off two unidentified projectiles into the Sea of Japan on Monday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. This was the first projectile launch by North Korea this year.

South Korea’s military believes the projectiles were likely long-range ballistic missiles and that they were fired from the North Korean coastal city of Wonsan. The test comes shortly after the U.S. had announced that it would postpone its joint military drills with South Korea amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, with Pyongyang viewing the exercises as preparation for an invasion.

Japan has said that it has not detected any projectiles landing on its territory or damaging its ships. At the same time, Tokyo condemned the launches.

"The repeated firings of ballistic missiles by North Korea is a serious problem for the international community including Japan, and the government will continue to gather and analyze information, and monitor the situation to protect the lives and property of the people,” the Japanese Defense Ministry said.

North Korea had promised a “Christmas gift” for the United States in early December, due to Pyongyang’s frustration with the sanctions placed on its economy. Security analysts believed at the time that North Korea was preparing to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

North Korea never followed through on its threat, but its leader Kim Jong Un has said that the world would witness a “new strategic weapon” in 2020.

The Trump administration and North Korea have been involved in nuclear negotiations over the past two years, with Washington wanting the isolated Asian country to pursue a path to denuclearization in exchange for reduced sanctions.

President Trump met with Kim for nuclear summits in Vietnam in February 2019 and in Singapore in June 2018, but no concrete deal on the nuclear issue has been achieved.

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton has said that there is no chance that North Korea would give up its nuclear arsenal. Democratic presidential candidates have criticized Trump’s summits with Kim, with former Vice President Joe Biden saying that he would not meet Kim without preconditions.