Japan, S. Korea to closely coordinate over N. Korea

The missile, which sources said landed in the Sea of Japan, was sacked as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited President Trump in the United States.

"North Korea's test-firing of the ballistic missile is a provocation that flagrantly violates the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions again", the JCS said in a written statement.

"Today's ballistic missile test by North Korea is the first ballistic missile test this year since 24 launches last year", Cho said.

According to reports, the projectile fired was an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM).

Russian politician Leonid Slutsky said: "We need to work intensively on the Korean dossier and not slow down the pace for all of us".

The type of missile, launched from the Panghyon area in North Korea's western North Pyongan province at around 7:55 a.m., was not yet identified, the Yonhap news agency quoted South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff as saying in a statement.

After receiving word of the launch, Trump stood at his south Florida estate with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who called the move "intolerable".

The missile test came amid signs that Trump - having previously chided Japan for what he said was an insufficient contribution to the cost of housing USA troops there - is seeking to reset his relationship with Abe.

It was the first test-firing of a North Korean ballistic missile since Trump took office on January 20.

Once fully developed, a North Korean ICBM could threaten the continental United States, which is about 9,000 km (5,500 miles) from North Korea.

If the missile becomes fully operational, it could potentially deliver a nuclear warhead to the U.S. mainland.

One US official has said the test came as "no surprise".

Past year the country conducted two nuclear tests and numerous missile launches in its quest to develop a nuclear weapons system capable of hitting the USA mainland.

"Our assessment is that it is part of a show of force in response to the new United States administration's hardline position against the North", the military said.

"We can absolutely not accept these continued provocations by North Korea, and have protested strongly to them", Suga said. The document further restricted trade with North Korea, envisioning mandatory inspection of all cargo leaving or entering the North Korean territory.

The young leader is planning a "prime time" nuclear weapons push this year to take advantage of a leadership transition in South Korea - where the president has been impeached - and the United States, a high-ranking North Korean defector said recently.

Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada told reporters on Sunday in comments carried by NHK that the ministry will continue to gather information about the latest test.

Pyongyang has been steadily working to improve its missile and weapons capability, conducting a fifth nuclear test in September.

  • Salvatore Jensen