North Korea 'fires test missile into sea'

First such test since Donald Trump, currently host to Japan's Prime Minister, became US President

Katie Forster
Sunday 12 February 2017 02:14 GMT
A picture of a previous missile test released from North Korea's official news agency
A picture of a previous missile test released from North Korea's official news agency (KCNA)

North Korea has fired a missile into its eastern sea, according to South Korean officials.

In what could be an extension of efforts to advance its missile technologies, North Korea launched the projectile from an area in the country's western region, said a government statement.

It is the first such test since Donald Trump, currently host to to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, became President of the US.

The missile test did not land in Japanese territory, said Japan's government, who confirmed it fell in seas between the island and the Korean peninsula.

The launch pad for the test is said to be near Banghyon in North Pyongan Province.

This is where North Korea launched a powerful midrange missile, known as Musudan, on 15 and 20 October, according to South Korea.

South Korea held a National Security Council meeting in response to the launch.

An official from Seoul's Defense Ministry told Associated Press it isn't clear whether the projectile was a ballistic missile. The official didn't want to be named, citing office rules.

The North conducted two nuclear tests and a slew of rocket launches last year in continued efforts to expand its nuclear weapons and missile programs.

Kim Dong-yeop, an analyst at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies in Seoul, said that the projectile could be a Musudan or a similar rocket designed to test engines for an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit the US. mainland.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said in his annual New Year's address that the North's preparations for launching an intercontinental ballistic missile have “reached the final stage.”

Agencies contributed to this report

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