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ConflictsNorth Korea

North Korea launched ballistic missile, says South Korea

April 2, 2024

The suspected ballistic missile appeared to fall outside of Japan's exclusive economic zone and prompted Fumio Kishida to condemn North Korea's military actions.

A TV screen shows a file image of North Korea's missile launch
The suspected ballistic missile was fired into the sea of JapanImage: Ahn Young-joon/AP Photo/picture alliance

North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile into the sea off its east coast on Tuesday, South Korea's military said.

The launch of the missile prompted an alarmed response from Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

South Korea's military said it detected the firing of what seemed like to be a ballistic missile of an intermediate range.

According to South Korea, the missile was launched from the area of the North Korean capital Pyongyang on Tuesday at 06.53 a.m. (2153 GMT on Monday).

"This is a matter that concerns not only the security of our country but also the safety of the region and the international community. It is absolutely unacceptable," Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told a news conference in Tokyo.

The missile's flying range was about 600 km (372 miles) before it fell into the sea, South Korea's military said.

North Korea tests intercontinental ballistic missile

Meanwhile, Japan's military estimated the missile flew a distance of 650 km (400 miles) and hit a maximum altitude of 100 km (62 miles).

Tension in Korean Peninsula on the rise

This is the first time Pyongyang has launched a missile since March when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw a live-fire drill of artillery systems built to target South Korea's capital.

The missile launches by North Korea have become more rampant since Russia invaded Ukraine.

South Korea and Japan have also increased their security cooperation amid concerns about North Korea and Russia's growing ties.

mfi/rc(AP, AFP, Reuters)