North Korea launched four short-range missiles Thursday in what U.S. officials are calling an unannounced weapons test.
The missiles were fired north toward Russia and landed about 120 miles out in the Sea of Japan. It was around this time last year that tensions between North Korea and the U.S. reached a fever pitch, with the North threatening to attack the U.S. and even setting off a nuclear weapon. (Via CNN, NK News, BBC)
So is Thursday's missile launch a sign the war rhetoric will make a comeback? Well, not exactly. Pentagon officials are actually downplaying the launch.
"Privately, U.S. officials tell me that they are not very concerned. In fact, some of them tell me that they had expected North Korea to do something like this earlier in the week." (Via Fox News)
See, the U.S. and South Korea began joint military exercises this week, like they do every year, and this has come to be a time of saber-rattling from the North. (Via Arirang)
A video was posted on North Korea's YouTube channel Thursday calling the exercises "nuclear war drills" and saying the U.S. was preparing to invade the country.
Officials say this kind of propaganda, along with the missile testing, is more about politics than military action, and is mostly intended to impress the North Korean public.