North Korea Fires Ballistic Missile Which Lands In Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone

Update: According to the S. Korea military, the N. Korea's missile flew more than 930km, before dropping into the sea. Separately, US Pacific Command said in statement that North Korea launched a land-based intermediate-range ballistic missile on Tuesday morning. The missile was tracked for 37 minutes and landed in the Sea of Japan.

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North Korea fired an "unidentified ballistic missile" from a province near the border with China on Tuesday, South Korea's military said. The launch took place just days after the South's new President Moon Jae-In and US President Donald Trump focused on deescalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula in their first summit.

"North Korea fired an unidentified ballistic missile into the East Sea from the vicinity of Banghyon, North Pyongan Province, at around 9:40 a.m.," the Joint Chiefs of Staff said cited by Yonhap.

The projectile reportedly landed in Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone, Takahiro Hirano, Public Affairs Officer from Japan's Ministry of Defense told CNN, an outcome which Tokyo may deem an act of aggression, and promptly retaliate against.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga confirmed that the launch took place at 9:39 am and said that Japanese government would convene National Security Council Meeting; he added that Japan strongly protested to North Korea of its action.

"On Tuesday, at 09:39 [00:39 GMT on Tuesday] North Korea launched a ballistic missile. The flight has lasted for 40 minutes, the missile fell into Japan's exclusive economic zone  in the Sea of Japan. By this hour, there is no information on the damage inflicted to Japanese aircraft and ships," Suga said at a press conference.   

Suga also said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered to gather related information and analysis.

Shortly after the launch, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said today’s missile launch by N. Korea is a clear indication that its threat is escalating, and added that N. Korea has ignored repeated warnings by international community.  Abe said confirmed strong ties with U.S. after speaking to President Donald Trump yesterday; Abe spoke to reporters in Tokyo after convening NSC meeting, remarks were carried on national broadcaster NHK. Abe also called on China and Russia to play a more "constructive" role.

On Monday, North Korea celebrated the day of strategic forces of the Korean People's Army (KPA) with a statement in its state-run newspaper that the country's rockets may strike anywhere in the world. 

The newspaper reminded about recent successful launches of ballistic missiles Hwasong-12, Pukguksong-2, as well as cruise missiles. The situation on the Korean peninsula has become aggravated in recent months due to a series of missile launches and nuclear tests conducted by Pyongyang, all of which are claimed to be in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. The previous launch took place on June 8, when North Korea carried out a launch of short-range anti-ship missiles, reportedly flying some 124 miles before dropping into the Sea of Japan.

We expect a statement to be issued momentarily by the White House.