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North Korea launches three short-range missiles, U.S. says

North Korea launches three short-range missiles, U.S. says
North Korea appears to have test-launched a trio of short-range missiles, U.S. military officials said. (Fred Dufour / AFP/Getty Images)

In its latest provocation, North Korea appears to have launched three short-range missiles on Saturday, U.S. military officials said.

The apparent test launches came between 6:49 a.m. and 7:19 a.m. local time from near Kittaeryong, in North Korea's southeast region. Two of the missiles flew about 155 miles in a northeastern direction, and a third exploded almost immediately, according to U.S. Pacific Command.

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"We are working with our Interagency partners on a more detailed assessment, and we will provide a public update if warranted," said a spokesman for the command, U.S. Navy Cmdr. Dave Benham.

The test by the North coincides with the 10-day defensive war exercises that U.S. and South Korean troops conduct each year, drills that have angered the totalitarian nation that is still officially at war with the South, an American ally.

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The tests marked the 13th distinct missile launch by the North this year, according to data maintained by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Such launches violate United Nations Security Council resolutions banning the North from pursuing a nuclear weapons program. The North last month successfully test-launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles that, in theory, could reach targets in the United States, a technological advancement that has worried security experts.

The launches didn't pose a threat to the U.S. mainland or to Guam, which recently was threatened by the North, Benham said.

"We continue to monitor North Korea's actions closely," he said.

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Stiles is a special correspondent.

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UPDATES:

Aug. 26, 12:10 a.m.: This article was updated with a clarification from U.S. authorities about the performance of the missiles launched.

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4:55 p.m.: This article was updated with staff reporting, including comment from U.S. authorities.

This article was originally published at 4:10 p.m. Aug. 25.

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