The DPRK launched what is believed to be a ballistic missile on Wednesday morning towards its east coast, Yonhap news agency reported citing a South Korean military source.
The test was conducted at around 6:40 a.m. local time (21:40GMT) from a site in the vicinity of Sinpo, South Hamgeyong Province, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
The US Pacific Command confirmed in a statement that the missile was launched from a land-based facility near Sinpo, and landed in the Sea of Japan. Initial assessments indicated that the type of missile was a KN-15 medium-range ballistic missile, the statement said.
On Monday, the Foreign Ministry in Pyongyang had voiced its strong opposition to US sanctions, saying anti-DPRK actions “are driving the tense situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of a war,” the DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency reported, citing an unnamed ministry spokesperson.
“The world will soon witness what eventful steps the DPRK will take to frustrate the hideous and reckless sanctions racket,” the spokesman said.
Reactions from S. Korea, Japan and the US
South Korea strongly condemned the missile launch on Wednesday, saying in a Foreign Ministry statement:"It is an act to threaten the peace and security of the international community as well as the Korean peninsula."
The South Korean presidential office also convened an emergency meeting on what it called a “provocation”.
Japan meanwhile extended its strong opposition towards the DPRK’s latest missile launch, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said. He added the missile launch was in clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions.
Suga also said the missile was not believed to have fallen within Japan’s exclusive economic zone and that planes and ships in the area had not reported any damage after the launch.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued a short statement saying: “The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment.”