The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) fired what is believed to be a ballistic missile into its eastern waters early Sunday, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.
The projectile is estimated to have traveled about 500 km, according to the JCS. It landed in waters off the DPRK’s east coast, according to local media reports.
Pyongyang test-fired Musudan missiles near the same place, where an airfield is located, in October last year.
It was the DPRK’s first test-launch of a ballistic missile in 2017 and also the first since U.S. President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20.
South Korea’s military said Pyongyang’s launch of ballistic missile was a provocative act in violation of UN Security Council’s resolutions, which ban the DPRK from testing any ballistic missile technology.
The launch, the military believed, was aimed at drawing attention by showing off its nuclear and missile capability and was also part of armed protest against the Trump administration’s hard-line stance toward the DPRK.
Yonhap news agency quoted a military source as saying that Sunday’s test-launch was not of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
Concerns had persisted about the DPRK’s ICBM test-launch following its fifth nuclear test in September last year. Pyongyang test-fired a long-range ballistic rocket in February last year, about a month after conducting the fourth nuclear detonation.
Pyongyang had test-fired Musudan missiles eight times between April 15 and Oct. 20 in 2016. Except for the June 22 success at which the missile traveled about 500 km, all of other launches failed. Enditem