North Korea launched a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Friday, the second missile test by the Kim Jong Un regime in two days, in actions condemned as unacceptable by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
The presumed ICBM was launched around 10:15 am local time from the Sunan area of the North Korean capital Pyongyang, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.
Kishida said it likely fell in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), about 210 kilometers (130 miles) west of the Japanese island of Oshima Oshima, according to the Japan Coast Guard. It did not fly over Japan.
“North Korea is continuing to carry out provocative actions at frequency never seen before,” Kishida told reporters Friday at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.
“I want to restate that we cannot accept such actions,” he said.
The Japanese government will continue to collect and analyze information and provide prompt updates to the public, he added. So far, there have been no reports of damage to vessels at sea, Kishida added.
The Misawa Air Base issued a shelter in place alert after the firing of the missile, according to US Air Force Colonel Greg Hignite, director of public affairs for US Forces Japan. It has now been lifted and the US military is still analyzing the flight path, he said.
The launch comes one day after Pyongyang fired a short-range ballistic missile into the waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, and issued a stern warning to the United States of a “fiercer military counteraction” to its tighter defense ties with South Korea and Japan.
It’s the second suspected test launch of an ICBM this month – an earlier missile fired on November 3 appeared to have failed, a South Korean government source told CNN at the time.
North Korea has carried out missile tests on 34 days this year, on occasion, firing multiple missiles in a single day, according to a CNN count. The tally includes both ballistic and cruise missiles.
The aggressive acceleration in weapons testing and rhetoric has sparked alarm in the region, with the US, South Korea and Japan responding with missile launches and joint military exercises.
This is a breaking news story. More to come…