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North Korea Fires Another Short-Range Missile


North Korea test-fired another short-range missile off its east coast Friday, and threatened to take retaliatory action if the United Nations imposes sanctions for its latest nuclear test.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency quotes a South Korean official as saying the North launched a "new type" of land-to-air missile from its Musudan-ni launch site. It was the sixth short-range missile North Korea has fired since its nuclear test Monday.

North Korea's state-run news agency warned Friday of what it called "further self-defense measures" if there is, in its words, "further provocation" by the U.N. Security Council.

The Council is considering possible new sanctions against Pyongyang. These could include expanding an arms embargo, and placing restrictions on financial and banking regulations.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the situation is not a crisis and there is no need to increase troop numbers in South Korea. He spoke Friday on a flight to Singapore for a regional security meeting.

Pyongyang announced this week it was no longer bound by the 1953 armistice that ended fighting in the Korean War. And it warned South Korea it would take military action if Seoul and the United States made any move to intercept North Korean vessels under a U.S.-led effort (Proliferation Security Initiative) to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

The move prompted South Korean and U.S. forces on the Korean peninsula to raise their alert level to its highest level since 2006, when the North conducted its first nuclear test.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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