North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday, which landed in the sea, in waters of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Japan, announced today the Japanese Ministry of Defense.
In a statement, the ministry said Pyongyang “launched an ICBM-type ballistic missile from a position near the west coast of the Korean peninsula at approximately 10:14 am” (1:14 am in Lisbon).
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida described the launch as “absolutely unacceptable”, confirming that the missile landed in waters within Japan’s EEZ, near the northern island of Hokkaido, without appearing to have caused any damage to ships or planes. .
The Japanese coast guard has asked ships crossing the area not to approach any wreckage that may be floating in the sea.
“North Korea has repeatedly fired missiles this year with unprecedented frequency and is significantly increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula,” Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada told reporters.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff also said in a statement that the launch likely involved an intercontinental ballistic missile.
South Korea’s presidential office said it had called an emergency security meeting to discuss the North Korean launch.
If confirmed, it would be North Korea’s first launch of an ICBM missile in a two-week period.
Independent experts said an ICBM, still under development, launched by Pyongyang on Nov. 3 failed to perform its intended flight.
North Korea has two types of ICBMs — Hwasong-14 and Hwasong-15 — and launch tests in 2017 proved they could reach parts of the United States.
Already on Thursday, Kim Jong-un’s regime had fired a ballistic missile towards the Sea of Japan.
The launches coincide with the visit of the President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, to neighboring South Korea and take place after the Pyongyang regime fired about thirty missiles, in early November, in response to joint air exercises between Seoul and Washington.