North Korea launched another ballistic missile towards its eastern waters, South Korean officials said Thursday.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed the weapon had been launched Thursday morning, but did not provide specific details, The Associated Press reported.
The missile was the sixth round of weapon launches from the North Koreans in less than two weeks, and came just two days after a medium-range missile was fired over Japan. AP reported this was the first North Korean missile to be launched at Japan in more than five years.
The barrage of missile launches was likely in response to recent joint military tests conducted by the United States, Japan, and South Korea near the coastline of the Korean Peninsula. Following Tuesday's test, the United Nations Security Council was asked by the U.S. to meet regarding the North Korean threat.
North Korea's rapid weapons tests come at a watershed moment for the isolated dictatorship, as diplomatic talks with Western nations have largely come to a halt. The AP report noted that "North Korea aims to expand its nuclear arsenal to boost its leverage in future negotiations with the United States."
In response to the continuing weapons tests, both the U.S. and South Korea conducted missile launches of their own, with CNN reporting that the combined armies fired four missiles off the Korean Peninsula following Tuesday's actions by North Korea. The move was the allied nations' second military test in less than a day.