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NK Launches Seven Missiles: US Northern Command officials have confirmed that North Korea launched a total of seven missiles, including the Taepo Dong 2 long-range ballistic missile that exploded in less than a minute after launching at approximately 4 p.m. EDT on July 4. The other missiles were short to medium range; all the missiles went into the Sea of Japan. US and other nations view the launch of the Taepo Dong 2, which could reach American soil, as a provocative act that “violates a standing moratorium n missile tests to which the North had previously committed,” according to a Whitehouse statement. In a press briefing held before word came about the seventh missile, White House spokesman Tony Snow acknowledged that South Korea, Japan, and even China had asked North Korea not to conduct a launch. News reports had speculated for months that Pyongyang was on the verge of launching its new long-range missile, prompting at least one former US defense secretary to call on President Bush to pre-emptively strike North Korea’s long-range missile apparatus.