Wong Maye-E, Associated Press
Apartment buildings are seen through the morning fog at sunrise, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 in Pyongyang, North Korea.

SEOUL, South Korea — A South Korean defense official says North Korea has fired three short-range projectiles into waters off its east coast — just as the Korean Peninsula begins celebrating a major holiday.

The likely test-firing Saturday continues a string of similar launches conducted by Pyongyang this year as it expresses anger over U.S.-South Korean military drills and various South Korean government policies.

The launch comes as the Korean Peninsula begins celebrating Chuseok, a three-day holiday that is roughly equivalent to Thanksgiving.

The South Korean defense official says that the projectiles flew about 210 kilometers (130 miles) before landing in the water. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of office rules.

North Korea routinely test-fires missiles and rockets but it has conducted an unusually large number of weapons tests this year.