Seoul, 2 October 2019 (dpa/MIA) – North Korea on Wednesday fired a presumed submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from waters off its east coast, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, citing the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).
The projectile was fired from the waters off the port city of Wonsan at 7:11 am (2211 GMT Tuesday) and flew around 450 kilometers in an easterly direction, according to the JCS.
Yonhap reported the body as saying that the projectile reached a maximum altitude of about 910 kilometres, saying that the missile could have travelled much further had it been fired at a lower angle.
“Our military is monitoring the situation in case of additional launches and maintaining a readiness posture,” Yonhap quoted the JCS as saying.
The Japanese government said earlier in the day it believed that two “ballistic missiles” fell into the country’s territorial waters, off the western prefecture of Shimane. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga later confirmed at a press conference that it was one.
“The launch of ballistic missiles violates UN Security Council resolutions. We sternly lodge a protest over the launch and strongly condemn it,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters Wednesday morning.
“We will do the utmost to protect the safety of the people and stay on high alert while coordinating with the United States and the international community,” he added.
The launch followed reports confirmed by the United States that Washington and Pyongyang would hold fresh negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme within the week.
North Korea’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui was quoted by state-run media as saying the talks would restart on Saturday.
US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had agreed to working-level negotiations at a meeting on the inter-Korean border in late June.
Trump has often stated that he remains satisfied with a situation in which North Korea does not fire long-range missiles and does not test new nuclear weapons.