North Korea on Sunday launched a ballistic missile into the sea off the Korean peninsula’s east coast, South Korean and Japanese officials have confirmed the incident. According to the defence ministry of South Korea, at around 6:53 a.m. (local time), Pyongyang launched a short-range ballistic missile from the Taecheon region of North Pyongan province. The missile seemed to have landed less than 10 minutes after the fire, the Japan Coast Guard reported.

According to a report from VOA, the South Korean Presidential Office had issued a warning the day before, claiming to have seen activities that may have indicated North Korea was getting ready to launch an SLBM from the city of Sinpo on its east coast.

Furthermore, the Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea (JCS) described the launch as a “significant provocative action that harms peace and safety of the Korean Peninsula as well as the international community” and stated that the militaries of South Korea and the United States are maintaining a “full readiness posture” and close cooperation as a result. The JCS has further demanded North Korea to “immediately stop,” claiming that the launch has been a “clear violation” of the resolution of the United Nations Security Council.

The ballistic missile had a flight path of around 600 kilometers

As per the JCS, the missile had a flight path of around 600 kilometers, at an altitude of 60 kilometers, and a speed of roughly Mach 5. Additional information is being analyzed by the US and South Korean intelligence services, CNN reported.

Apart from this, Yasukazu Hamada, the Defence Minister of Japan, suggested that the ballistic missile may have taken an irregular path. The Japanese Defence Minister said, “North Korea has launched missiles 19 times this year, an unprecedentedly high frequency, including the announcement of the launch of cruise missiles, and has also launched missiles in new responses,” CNN reported.

For the security of his nation and the area, Hamada continued by saying that North Korea’s “recent remarkable development of nuclear missile-related technologies cannot be overlooked.” “We have protested to North Korea through the embassy route in Beijing,” the defence minister remarked.

However, the US Indo-Pacific Command noted that there was “no immediate threat” to US military personnel and territory following the fire of the short-range ballistic missile in North Korea.

Meanwhile, in the month of August, the South Korean military, as reported by the Yonhap news agency, revealed that North Korea had launched two cruise missiles, in what looked to be a test launch toward the Yellow Sea.

(Image: AP)