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FILE - In this Feb. 13, 2017 file photo, a man watches a TV news program showing photos published in North Korea's Rodong Sinmun newspaper of North Korea's "Pukguksong-2" missile launch at Seoul Railway station in Seoul, South Korea. Years of failed efforts to stem North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs have followed a usual pattern. The United States seeks tougher action from China, the North’s traditional ally. Beijing urges U.S. diplomatic engagement. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

The US 'strongly' condemned North Korea's banned ballistic missile test


UPDATE March 6, 7:08 a.m. EST:

The U.S. State Department "strongly" condemned North Korea's missile launch Sunday night, calling them a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions in a statement.

The missile launch did not pose a threat to North America, department acting spokesman Mark Toner said. The missile flew more than 600 miles and landed in the Sea of Japan within 200 nautical miles of Japan, South Korea's military confirmed. Missiles fired last month flew about half that distance.

ORIGINAL STORY: North Korea fired several banned ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan early Monday, a South Korean Defense Ministry official told CNN.

The projectiles were reportedly fired from the Tongchang-ri, which is located in the country's North Pyongan province. 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ramped up missile test launches recently, aiming to deter what he considers U.S. and South Korean hostility toward the country. 

The test comes just days after the United States and South Korea began conducting their annual military exercises, which North Korea routinely insists are an invasion rehearsal. North Korea already denounced this year's military exercises, which are known as Foal Eagle.

"Now that the US imperialists and the South Korean puppet forces again kicked off the dangerous nuclear war drills against the DPRK at its doorstep, our army will counter them with the toughest counteractions," North Korea's state media service KCNA said.

North Korea Military Points of Interest
North Korea

North Korea fired multiple short and medium range missiles during last year's drills, CNN reports.

Last week, an unidentified spokesman for the North's General Staff of the Korean People's Army said Pyongyang's reaction to the drills would be its toughest yet. 

In February, North Korea conducted a test launch of an intermediate-range missile. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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