Ballistic missiles hike China's huge Taiwan drill

STORY: The ongoing live-fire military drills that China is conducting surrounding Taiwan - its largest ever exercises around the island - have now been marked by what the Taiwanese defense ministry reports were ballistic missile launches.

These images were broadcast on China's state-run television on Thursday.

And on a nearby island frequented by Chinese tourists, captured by a Japanese TV network and shared with Reuters, rocket contrails can be seen flying into the sky.

The magnitude of the drills is unprecedented. The last time China launched missiles around Taiwan was back in 1996.

All this, coming immediately after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taiwan, which brought outrage from the Chinese government.

Taiwanese authorities say the drills are an effective blockade and has responded by scrambling fighter jets, and tracking Chinese aircraft it says are slipping into the 12-nautical mile region that Taiwan considers its territory.

The Chinese government has previously said that it didn't anticipate the drills to cause freedom of navigation issues. It claims Taiwan as its sovereign territory, and on Thursday said its issues with Taiwan were an internal affair.

Taiwan's defense ministry has also reported a cyber attack on its website Thursday, after several other government sites were hit earlier in the week.

Meanwhile, Speaker Pelosi continued her Asia tour in South Korea on Thursday, where she's expected to visit the demilitarized zone on its border with the North.