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Reality Check: Has North Korea become a greater threat?

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Kang Chol North Korea's ambassador to Malaysia has been declared persona non grata and expelled from the countryMore

"This is a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions and an attack on the peace and stability of South Korea and the worldwide community".

North Korea Monday fired four ballistic missiles into waters off its east coast, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.

North Korea fired four ballistic missiles into the sea off Japan's northwest on Monday, angering South Korea and Japan, days after it promised retaliation over U.S.

Pyongyang on Friday threatened to conduct more missile tests in response to an annual two-month joint-military exercise between Seoul and Washington, which continues through April.

North Korea test-launched a new intermediate-range missile in February and conducted two nuclear tests past year.

The ramped-up tests come as leader Kim Jong-un pushes for a nuclear and missile programme that can deter what he calls US and South Korean hostility toward the North. The three countries are "consciously and deliberately moving toward greater defensive capability", Karako said, referring to South Korea's planned deployment of U.S. THAAD missile defense systems.

North Korea denounced the exercises, which it considers a pre-text for an invasion, and warned it was ready to retaliate.

Reality Check verdict: The military threat from North Korea to its neighbours has increased, even if the technology used to launch the missiles might not be new.

South Korea, the United States and Japan all confirmed the terrifying deployment of missiles.

Monday's missile firings were unlikely to be testing a newly developed device but were aimed instead at protesting the military drills in the South, analysts said.

Countries around the world also condemned the missile launches. That's twice the distance as the North's most recent missile test, in February.

South Korea's acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn condemned the launches as a direct challenge to the worldwide community and said Seoul would deploy a U.S. anti-missile defence system despite objections from China.

China's foreign ministry said it remained opposed to missile launches by the North that violate United Nations resolutions, but also voiced concern about the military exercises. It has conducted three successful medium-range rocket launches in the past eight months and two nuclear tests in 2016 in its quest to build an ICBM that could reach the United States.

It was not immediately clear the exact type of missile fired, but the tests will be viewed as a provocation by the Trump administration, which is working on its policy for North Korea.

It comes as poor North Koreans were offered a jaw-dropping £700,000 in cash to help crush insane Kim Jong-un's brutal regime.

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