North Korea fires suspected ballistic missile into sea, Japan says

A photo released by the official North Korean Central News Agency shows the test-firing of a Hwasong-18 solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile, at an undisclosed location in North Korea, 12 July 2023. (Photo: EPA-EFE / KCNA)

North Korea launched a suspected ballistic missile early on Wednesday, the Japanese prime minister's office said, and South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said the projectile landed in the sea.

Citing South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, Yonhap reported that the missile had been launched into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan. It did not provide more details.

The apparent firing of the missile comes nearly a week after North Korea tested its latest Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile, a launch Pyongyang said was a warning to the United States and other adversaries.

Wednesday’s launch came a day after a US nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarine visited South Korea for the first time since the 1980s.

Also on Tuesday, a US soldier facing disciplinary action fled across the inter-Korean border into North Korea. The soldier is believed to be in North Korean custody, Washington said, creating a fresh crisis between the two adversaries.

(Reporting by Rami Ayyub in Washington; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Eric Beech.)


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