North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile into South Korean waters on Thursday before the South Korean president arrived in Japan for a summit with his Japanese counterpart, Seoul and Tokyo said.
The missile traveled about 1,000 km, at a maximum altitude of 6,000 km, in 70 minutes, according to South Korean and Japanese estimates.
These details are identical to the February launch of another intercontinental ballistic missile, which experts believe proved range to reach the interior of the United States.
UN leader condemns another missile launch by North Korea
the rocket crashed in the waters between the Korean peninsula and Japanafter being launched into a steep orbit, apparently to avoid neighboring countries.
Japan said the missile landed outside the exclusive economic zone and there were no reports of damage to ships or aircraft.
The launch took place while it was underway joint military maneuvers by the United States and South Koreawhich Pyongyang sees as a rehearsal for an invasion.
North Korean leader’s sister warns US and South Korea of overwhelming response
The exercises began on Monday and are expected to last until March 23, including computer simulations and live-fire field exercises.
Pyongyang had already carried out two tests this week, firing cruise missiles from a submarine and also short-range ballistic missiles launched from North Korean soil at a target in the East Sea.
The weapons tests were expected as, last week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered the military to be ready to fend off what he called “Frenzy War Preparation Exercises” rivals of the country.
Last year, Pyongyang tested more than 70 missiles, including some with nuclear capability, to strike South Korea, Japan and the US mainland, saying many of those tests were warnings, following earlier joint military maneuvers by the US- USA.
Before leaving for Tokyo, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said: “There will be an obvious price for North Korea’s reckless provocations”.
The summit between Yoon and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is aimed at restoring relations between the two countries and consolidating tripartite security cooperation with the United States to counter North Korean threats.
In December, the Kishida government adopted a new security strategy in December, under which it plans to acquire pre-emptive strike weapons and cruise missiles to counter growing threats from North Korea, China and Russia.