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North Korea Fires Ballistic Missile Into Sea


A TV screen shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, March 15, 2016 — the same day state media in Seoul said Kim had warned of impending tests of a nuclear warhead and ballistic missiles.

North Korea has fired another ballistic missile, days after the United States imposed new sanctions on the reclusive state.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile flew 800 kilometers before crashing off the North's eastern coast early Friday. The South said it tracked the projectile and was monitoring the situation.

A U.S. defense official says the U.S. tracked the launch of two ballistic missiles from North Korea. The official said neither was assessed to be a threat to the U.S. or its allies, and noted that the launches are a violation of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions.

President Barack Obama signed an executive order imposing new sanctions Wednesday in response to the authoritarian regime's latest nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

Earlier this week, Pyongyang's state media said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had ordered tests of a nuclear warhead and ballistic missiles capable of carrying warheads.

Military tensions have been soaring on the divided Korean Peninsula since the North carried out its fourth nuclear test on January 6, followed a month later by a long-range rocket launch that was widely seen as a disguised ballistic missile test.

The North says it needs nuclear weapons to cope with what it calls U.S. military threats.

After the latest firing, the United States called on North Korea to refrain from actions that raise tensions in the region. The State Department issued a statement saying it was closely monitoring the situation and urging North Korea to focus on taking concrete steps toward fulfilling its international commitments and obligations.