North Korea fired a short-range missile into the sea early on Tuesday during its latest weapon test, according to South Korea.
The object fired from North Korea’s northern Jagang province and flew toward the waters off the North’s eastern coast. It is the third round of missile launches this month.
In an emergency National Security Council meeting, the South Korean government expressed regret over what it called “a short-range missile launch” by the North.Details of the launch were being analysed by South Korean and U.S. authorities.
But Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said North Korea fired “what could be a ballistic missile” and that his government stepped up its vigilance and surveillance.
A ballistic missile launch would violate a U.N. Security Council ban on North Korean ballistic activities, but the council typically doesn’t impose new sanctions on North Korea for launches of short-range weapons.
Kim Jong Un watches over parades of goose-stepping soldiers and health workers in hazmat suits as North Korea celebrated its 73rd anniversary on September 13.
Tests of ballistic and cruise missiles earlier this month were North Korea’s first such launches in six months and displayed its ability to attack targets in South Korea and Japan, both key U.S. allies where a total of 80,000 American troops are stationed.
North Korean Ambassador Kim Song used his speech on the last day of the U.N. General Assembly to justify his country’s development of a “war deterrent” to defend against U.S. threats.
“The possible outbreak of a new war on the Korean Peninsula is contained not because of the U.S.’s mercy on the DPRK, it is because our state is growing a reliable deterrent that can control the hostile forces in an attempted military invasion,” Kim said.
DPRK refers to Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's official name.