North Korea has likely tested a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile on Thursday, Japan’s Deputy Defense Minister Makoto Oniki warned, condemning the nuclear-armed country for its actions while international attention is focused on Russia’s war with Ukraine.
Oniki told reporters the missile may be a new model because it flew much further than North Korea’s previous ICBM test-fire in November 2017.
The long-range missile, which reached a maximum altitude of over 6,000 kilometers (3,728 miles), flew for roughly 71 minutes and traveled about 1,100 kilometers, Oniki said.
It landed approximately 150 kilometers west of Japan’s Oshima Peninsula within Japan’s exclusive economic zone at about 15:44 local time (2:44 a.m. ET).
“It is absolutely unacceptable that while the world is responding to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, North Korea would unilaterally escalate its provocations against the international community by conducting this launch,” Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said on Thursday.
South Korea’s military said earlier on Thursday that North Korea launched an “unidentified projectile” suspected to be a long-range ballistic missile, without specifying whether it was an ICBM.
Earlier this month, North Korea fired a rocket that appeared to explode in mid-air over the capital of Pyongyang shortly after liftoff, South Korea’s military said. It came amid reports the country was seeking to test-fire its largest missile yet.
South Korea, Japan and the U.S. have all condemned North Korea’s ballistic missile tests, which have taken place with record frequency in recent months. Thursday’s launch, according to Reuters, would be at least the 13th missile test-fired by Pyongyang since the start of the year.