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After warning on film, N. Korea fires 3 missiles

The image of a missile launch by North Korea was shown in Seoul Railway Station on Thursday. The reasons for the launch were not immediately known.

Ahn Young Joon/Associated Press

The image of a missile launch by North Korea was shown in Seoul Railway Station on Thursday. The reasons for the launch were not immediately known.

SEOUL — North Korea fired three short-range projectiles off its east coast Thursday, a day after it warned of retaliation against an American comedy film involving a plot to kill the North’s leader, Kim Jong Un.

The projectiles took off from near Wonsan, a coastal town east of Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, and flew 118 miles before landing in waters between North Korea and Japan, said a spokesman at the Ministry of National Defense in South Korea.

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“We are analyzing our data to try to figure out what type of projectiles they were and why the North fired them,” he said, speaking on customary condition of anonymity. “Our military has increased its monitoring activities in case the North should fire more projectiles.”

North Korea often fires short-range missiles or rockets off its east coast during military exercises or when it wants to raise tensions, analysts say.

It remained unclear whether the firings Thursday were linked to the North’s threat Wednesday that it would take “a decisive and merciless countermeasure” unless Washington stopped the release of “The Interview,” a Columbia Pictures movie scheduled to open in October. The movie features a fictional scenario in which an American talk show host and his producer visit North Korea for an interview with Kim and plot with the CIA to assassinate him. North Korea said it would consider the release of the film “an act of war.”

Pyongyang has raised regional tensions in recent months by launching rockets and threatening to conduct a new nuclear test.

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