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North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles off its coast for the third consecutive day on Monday, according to press reports. North Korean officials declared the launches of the six short-range missiles to the east and north of its territorial waters over that span a part of regular military exercises, reported Bloomberg. The official North Korean news agency accused the United States and South Korea of "brigandish sophism" for criticizing the launches and cited recent joint US-South Korean exercises as far greater provocations, reported the New York Times. South Korean officials on Monday said the launches raised tensions on the peninsula. Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said while North Korea's rhetoric has calmed—compared to recent months—any activities such as launches "can be construed to be provocative" and concern US officials. He noted that the short-range launches do not necessarily violate North Korea's international obligations, but that the United States and its allies would monitor developments closely. (Includes AFPS report by Jim Garamone) (See also US Beefing Up Missile Defenses and North Korea Announces Nuclear Reactor Restart.)