North Korea fired a missile after threatening a “fiercer” step.

In response to US-South Korean military drills, which it believes are preparations for an invasion of North Korea, North Korea has steadfastly maintained that its recent weapons testing activities are legitimate military counteractions. On the other hand, Washington and Seoul insist that their exercises are defensive.

North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile toward its East waters on Thursday, hours after it threatened to take ‘more severe’ military action against the United States to ensure the security of its East Asian allies South Korea and Japan.

At 10:48 a.m. (9:48 p.m. ET), a missile was fired from the Wonsan area of North Korea’s eastern coast, landing in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, according to its neighbors. South Korean, American, and Japanese militaries quickly condemned the launch, which they say jeopardizes regional stability after detecting it.