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The U.S. military landed in hot water with Japanese officials on Thursday when a spokesman used the term "East Sea" to refer to the wedge of sea between Japan, Russia and the Korean peninsula where North Korea tested missiles earlier in the day.

"We are aware of North Korean missile launches this morning into the East Sea," the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command spokesman Captain Mike Kafka said in the initial official statement from the U.S. government.

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