South Korean and US intelligence authorities are analyzing the launches for additional information.
The South Korean military said it has stepped up its surveillance and control of North Korea while working closely with the United States to maintain defensive readiness.
The Japanese Coast Guard said they believed the two missiles were launched five minutes apart at 12:38 p.m. and 12:43 p.m. local time (11:38 p.m. and 11:43 p.m. ET).
Japan’s defense ministry said the North Korean projectiles fell into waters outside its exclusive economic zone.
North Korea does not have the right to test ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons under international law. Previous tests of this type have met with international stigma and sanctions from the United Nations Security Council.
Cruise missiles are powered by jet engines. Much like an airplane, they stay closer to the ground, making them more difficult to detect. Most cruise missiles are not designed to carry nuclear warheads.
In comparison, ballistic missiles are only propelled for a short part of their flight. They are fired on an arc path which, for longer range versions, takes them out of Earth’s atmosphere, and they can handle heavier payloads such as nuclear warheads.
The North Korean military unveiled two new missiles during parades last October and January. One of them, which analysts said may be one of the largest in the world, was so big it had to be placed on an 11-axle truck.
But at the last Northern Military Parade last week, there were no missiles to see, with the parade ranks filled in place of armaments from the smallest variety of battlefield.
CNN’s Junko Ogura contributed to this report.