North Korea may have possibly tested another missile on Friday, hours after rebuking the US for trying to undermine Pyongyang’s “legitimate right to self-defense.”

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff claimed North Korea fired an unidentified projectile in the early hours of Friday, while Japan said it “could be a ballistic missile.”

If confirmed, this will be Pyongyang’s third missile launch of the year, following two tests in less than a week of what North Korean state media said were “hypersonic missiles.”

The tests have led to the US imposing sanctions on five people involved in North Korea’s missile programs.

A spokesperson for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said the US sanctions are “clearly a provocation” and criticized Washington for “aggravating the situation intentionally.”

The US’ “gangster logic … questions the exercise of our legitimate right to self-defense,” read a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

The official said North Korea’s push for a “new-type weapon” is only to enhance its “national defense capability, not for aiming at a specific country or force.”

The statement warned of “a stronger and clearer response” if the US continues with its “attitude of confrontation.”

* Writing by Islamuddin Sajid

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