South Korean and Japanese officials said North Korea fired a ballistic missile into waters off its east coast on Sunday.
South Korea’s military said North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the sea off the east coast of the Korean peninsula on Sunday. (Reuters Photo)
by the associated pressNorth Korea fired a ballistic missile into waters off its east coast on Sunday, South Korean and Japanese officials said.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the launch took place on Sunday morning, but gave no further details. The Japanese Prime Minister’s Office also confirmed the launch.
Japan’s coast guard said it was informed by the defense ministry that a suspected North Korean missile landed in the waters between Japan and the Korean Peninsula, but did not say how close it was to the Japanese coast.
Japan’s NHK national television quoted unnamed government sources as saying that the missile landed outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
Sunday’s launch came three days after North Korea said Tested “high-thrust solid-fuel motor” for a new strategic weaponA development that could allow it to have an arsenal of more mobile, harder to detect intercontinental ballistic missiles that could reach the US mainland.
In recent months, North Korea has tested a barrage of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, including last month its developmental, longest-range liquid-fueled Hwasong-17 ICBM designed to carry multiple warheads .
Some experts say North Korea will eventually use an expanded arsenal to seek sanctions relief and other concessions from the United States.
The exact location of North Korea’s nuclear strike capability remains in secrecy, as all of its intercontinental ballistic missile tests in recent years have been conducted at an acute angle to avoid neighboring countries.
Some experts speculate that North Korea already has nuclear-tipped missiles that could hit the entire United States, given the years it has spent on its nuclear program. But others say the country is still years away from acquiring such a weapon, adding that it has yet to be publicly proven that it has the technology to protect the weapon from the harsh conditions of atmospheric re-entry.
The United States and South Korea have expanded their regular military drills and vowed to further strengthen their joint defense capability in the face of North Korea’s growing nuclear program. North Korea has already threatened to use nuclear weapons in potential conflicts with the United States and South Korea, and the US military has warned the North that the use of nuclear weapons would result in “the end of that regime”. “