North Korea has fired a ‘ballistic missile’ into the sea, Japan’s defence ministry said, days after the secretive state completed a short-range missile test.
The military in neighbouring South Korea reported an “unidentified projectile” had been fired off the peninsula’s east coast into the sea on Thursday.
North Korea’s ballistic missiles are banned under UN Security Council Resolutions, and if the launch is confirmed, it would represent the first ballistic-missile test launch under new U.S. President Joe Biden.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff did not identify or elaborate on what the projectile was or when it was launched.
It may have been a ballistic missile, a spokesman for Japan’s defence ministry said.
He said: “It has not fallen within Japanese territory and is not believed to have come down within Japan’s exclusive economic zone.”
Earlier the Japanese coast guard warned ships against coming close to any fallen objects and instead asked them to provide information to the coast guard.
Yonhap News Agency reports that South Korean has convened an emergency National Security Council meeting on the launches.
It comes after North Korea fired two short-range missiles at the weekend, U.S. and South Korean officials said.
But the US played down the first such tests under Joe Biden and said it was still open to dialogue with Pyongyang.
North Korea said it would not engage until the US dropped its ‘hostile policies’, including carrying out military drills with South Korea.
The country has not tested a intercontinental ballistic missile in more than three years, but has continued production of nuclear weapons.
News of the launches comes a week after Kim Yo Jong, sister of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, sent a warning to Joe Biden.
“We take this opportunity to warn the new US administration trying hard to give off powder smell in our land,” she said, the North Korean state news agency reports.
“If it wants to sleep in peace for [the] coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step.”
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