A North Korean ballistic missile test may have landed in Japanese territory, the Japanese prime minister's office announced.
The missile launch was the first of its kind since September, and was confirmed by South Korean and American military sources early Wednesday morning local time.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that President Donald Trump was briefed about the missile launch while it was in the air.
"North Korea fired an unidentified ballistic missile early this morning from Pyongsong, South Pyongan, to the east direction. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff is analysing more details of the missile with the US side," an official with South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said after the missile launch was detected.
The Wednesday test is at least the 23rd time that North Korea has launched a ballistic missile since February. Before the launch, the country had fired 22 missiles without active warheads over 15 total test occasions. Officials with the United States say that the country is continuing to develop its missile capabilities including its rocket fuel and engine technologies, and targeting and guidance systems.
Washington believes that Pyongyang may be able to fit a miniaturized warhead on a ballistic missile as soon as next year, if it can't do so already. North Korea has also been showing signs that it may be able to create a ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States mainland soon.
Mr Trump has taken an aggressive stance toward North Korea since taking office, and has repeatedly insulted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in recent months as tensions between the two countries have flared.
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