North Korea conducts a fourth presumed missile test in a month

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(CNN) -- North Korea conducted what is presumed to be its fourth missile test of the year on Monday, firing a projectile into the ocean off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Japanese Prime Minister's office said in a tweet that North Korea launched a "possible ballistic missile."

Monday's presumed test follows two last week and one a week earlier as Pyongyang continues to pursue a missile program.

North Korea claimed to have a successfully test-fired hypersonic missiles on January 5 and 11, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

Pyongyang also test fired two presumed to be short-range ballistic missiles from a rail car on January 14.

In a recent statement carried by KCNA, a spokesman defended the country's right to bolster its arms, saying its "recent development of new-type weapon was just part of its efforts for modernizing its national defense capability."

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