North Korea fires ballistic missile from north of Pyongyang

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea fired an unidentified ballistic missile eastward from an area north of the capital Pyongyang, Yonhap news agency reported Wednesday, citing South Korea’s military.

“North Korea launched an unidentified ballistic missile eastward from the vicinity of Pyongsong, South Pyongan Province, at dawn today,” the country’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

South Korea reacted by conducting what the Joint Chiefs of Staff called a “precision strike” missile launch early Wednesday, Yonhap said.

The U.S. Defense Department confirmed that there had been a “probable” launch of a missile by North Korea, following the report from Seoul.

“All we can say is there’s been a probable launch of a missile,” a Pentagon spokesman told dpa.

The spokesman said the U.S. Pacific Command is working on confirmation. Yonhap reported that South Korean and U.S. officials were analyzing the trajectory.

According to the Japanese government, the Pyongyang missile could have landed in waters within Japan’s exclusive economic zone, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported.

The launch comes just more than one week after President Donald Trump re-designated the country as a state sponsor of terrorism as part of the United States’ “maximum pressure campaign” to isolate Pyongyang over its nuclear activities.

North Korea fired ballistic missiles in August and September that flew over the northern island of Hokkaido before falling into the Pacific Ocean. Under leader Kim Jong Un, North Korea also conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, prompting worldwide condemnation.

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