North Korea fires ballistic missile at sea



North Korea fired a ballistic missile into waters off the east coast of the Korean peninsula, according to South Korean and Japanese officials.

The short-range missile was fired early Sunday morning local time from the Taechon area of ​​North Pyongan province, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

He said the South Korean and U.S. armies maintain a “full readiness position” and cooperate closely after the launch.

This is the 19th missile launch this year, according to CNN’s tally. The last was August 17.

Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said the ballistic missile may have flown on an irregular trajectory.

He said the Japanese are still analyzing data on the missile but “it is estimated that it flew at a maximum altitude of about 50 kilometers (30 miles) and a range of about 400 kilometers ( 250 miles) if it was a conventional ballistic missile”. ”

“North Korea reportedly launched at least one missile,” around 6:52 a.m. local time in Japan or 5:52 p.m. Eastern time Saturday, Hamada said.

He added that it falls “near the east coast of North Korea”, outside of Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

“North Korea has launched missiles 19 times this year, an unprecedented frequency, including the announcement of a cruise missile launch, and has also launched missiles in new responses,” the Japanese minister said. of the defense.

He added that “North Korea’s recent remarkable development in nuclear missile technologies cannot be ignored for the security of our country and the region.”

The Minister of Defense added: “We protested to North Korea through the embassy in Beijing”.

The US Indo-Pacific Command said there was “no immediate threat to US territory or military personnel following the launch of a short-range ballistic missile into North Korea”.

The Japanese Coast Guard sent an alert to ships at 6:56 a.m. local time on Sunday, warning them of the missile.

“Vessels are advised to pay attention to additional information and if they see any falling objects, please do not approach them and report the relevant information to the Japanese Coast Guard,” he said.

In an update 15 minutes later, he said the missile would have landed at sea.

The missile launch comes after the strike group from the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier arrived in the southeastern port city of Busan in South Korea on Friday.

The US and South Korean navies are expected to conduct combined exercises this month.

The launch also comes shortly before US Vice President Kamala Harris is due to visit Japan and South Korea.

She will first stop in Tokyo to attend the state funeral of slain former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before heading to South Korea.


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