SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea fired a suspected long-range missile designed to strike the mainland U.S. on Friday, its neighbors said, a day after the North resumed its testing activities in an apparent protest over U.S. moves to solidify its alliances with South Korea and Japan.
The South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that it detected a ballistic missile launch off the North’s eastern coast on Friday morning. It later said the missile launched is likely an intercontinental ballistic missile.
The Japanese Defense Ministry also said in a statement that North Korea fired an ICBM-class ballistic missile from its western coastal area that flew toward its eastern waters across the country. It said the missile, launched at around 10:14 a.m. (0114GMT) was still in flight and may land inside of the Japanese Exclusive Economic Zone.
If confirmed, it would be North Korea’s first ICBM launch in about two weeks. Outside experts said that an ICBM launched by North Korea on Nov. 3 failed to fly its intended flight.
The Nov. 3 test was believed to have involved a new type of developmental ICBM. North Korea has two other types of ICBM — Hwasong-14 and Hwasong-15 and their test-launches in 2017 proved they could potentially reach parts of the U.S. homeland.
South Korea’s presidential office said it convened an emergency security meeting to discuss the North Korean launch.
“North Korea has been repeatedly firing missiles this year at an unprecedented frequency and is significantly escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula,” Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamad told reporters.
The launch is the latest in a slew of missile tests by North Korea in recent weeks. But the country had halted weapons launches for about a week before it …read more
Source:: Time – World