Two senior U.S. defense officials told NBC News on Monday that North Korea actually fired five missiles, not four, but that one of them failed to launch. The four missiles that made it off the launchpad traveled more than 600 miles east toward Japan.
U.S. Defense Department officials said the missile launch posed no threat to North America.
North Korea is banned from testing any ballistic missile technology under a set of U.N. resolutions. But it has threatened to conduct more missile tests in response to an annual two-month joint military exercise between Seoul and Washington, which continues through April.
Last month, North Korea launched a ballistic missile toward the Sea of Japan, a move that South Korea’s military described as a “show of force” to the Trump administration.
Rodong Sinmun, the North Korean ruling party’s official newspaper, said in a commentary that “new types of strategic weapons will soar” if Seoul and Washington continue their annual drills, which the North claims are preparation for war against it, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.
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