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North Korea Launches Another Suspected Missile

A man watches a TV news program showing a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, April 1, 2016.

South Korean media say North Korea has fired a suspected ballistic missile off its east coast in the latest of several tests this year, signifying an increased level of tension between Pyongyang, Seoul and South Korea's Western allies.

South Korea's Yonhap news service said the surface-to-air missile launched into the Sea of Japan at midday Friday.

South Korea's Defense Ministry confirmed the report to the French news agency, but said its range and precise trajectory could not be confirmed. It said the launch came from the eastern city of Sondok.

North Korea has launched a series of apparent weapons tests since January. The United States and South Korea are in the midst of conducting their most extensive joint military exercises ever. Pyongyang says it views those exercises as a rehearsal for invasion.

Meanwhile, in Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama is presiding over an international nuclear summit where the U.S., South Korea, China and Japan have made North Korea's activities a focus of discussion.