North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and two short-range ones toward the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan, the Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday.
South Korea’s military said that the ICBM was launched from the Sunan area in Pyongyang at around 7:40 am. This latest launch marked the country’s seventh firing of an ICBM in 2022, the report added. However, South Korea’s defense source told Yonhap that Thursday’s missile seems to have failed in the normal flight. “Our military has beefed up surveillance and vigilance while maintaining the readiness posture in close cooperation with the US,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement.
Earlier on Thursday, it was reported that Pyongyang had fired an unknown ballistic missile toward the Sea of Japan. Media reports said that the missile is believed to be an intermediate- or long-range missile. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said North Korea’s continuing missile launches are unacceptable.
“Today, North Korea conducted missile launches again. The continuing missile launches are inexcusable and absolutely unacceptable,” Kishida said in a statement.
“Japan will continue to engage in necessary responses in a timely and appropriate manner, acting in cooperation with the US, the ROK, and other relevant countries,” he added.
Initial reports said that the first of the missiles had flown over the territory of Japan but Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada later clarified that the missile had not flown over its territory.