North Korea fires unidentified test missile

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (R) watches the test of a high-thrust rocket engine March 18 at the Sohae satellite launching facility in North Pyongan Province. On Sunday, North Korea launched its eighth missile test this year. Photo by North Korean Central News Agency/EPA

May 21 (UPI) — North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile Sunday, one week after the communist nation also launched a rocket into the sea, South Korea’s military announced.

“North Korea fired an unidentified ballistic missile in the eastern direction at around 4:59 p.m. from the vicinity of Pukchang in Pyeongannam-do (South Pyeongan Province),” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The missile flew about 350 miles toward the Sea of Japan, the Joint Chiefs of Staff said. South Korea and the United States are studying the exact trajectory and type of missile.

Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said the missile fell into the Sea of Japan about 217 miles from the east coast of North Korea and did not go higher than 620 miles, according to preliminary data.

A White House official said it was a medium-range ballistic missile, a system that North Korea tested in February.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said North Korea was “obviously” violating the United Nations resolution and the “repeated provocative acts by North Korea are totally unacceptable.”

Earlier Sunday, North Korea’s state-run media said it would continue to launch more “weapons capable of striking” the United States.

The missile launch was North Korea’s eighth this year.

The May 14 launch was believed to be an intermediate-range ballistic missile from Kusong, North Pyongan Province. The Hwasong-12 missile traveled around more than 435 miles for half an hour before splashing into the East Sea.

North Korea has launched two missiles since South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office May 9.


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