• * North Korea fires short-range missile off east coast
  • * South Korean military ready for N. Korea's provocation

North Korea fired a surface-to-air missile into waters off its east coast facing Japan, in the latest show of defiance while global leaders were meeting in Washington for the Nuclear Security Summit.

A short-range missile was fired at around 12:45 p.m. Friday from South Hamgyong Province in the country’s northeastern area, a spokesman at South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said by phone. South Korea’s military is closely monitoring the situation and is prepared for any provocation from the North, the spokesman said.

QuickTake North Korea's Nuclear Puzzle

The regime in Pyongyang has launched a series of ballistic missiles in recent weeks, including one that flew 800 kilometers on March 18, in a protest against growing international pressure and against ongoing joint South Korea-U.S. military exercises.

South Korean President Park Geun Hye met with U.S. President Barack Obama and with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss cooperation in the face of rising prospects of a nuclear threat from North Korea. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pledged to continue to test nuclear bombs and ballistic missiles, the country’s official media reported March 15.

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