North Korea launches another missile, perhaps one that can reach US

South Korea's military said there was a low chance that four North Korean missiles launched earlier in the day were intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), but more time would be needed to confirm.

A South Korean military official said the latest launch, which took place at 7.36am local time Monday, was being investigated to determine the type of the projectile used.

North Korea has fired an "unidentified projectile" from North Pyongan province, South Korea's military has said.

Kim Jong-un launched the missile from its long-range missile base in Tongchang-ri, near the Chinese border.

If the projectiles are found to be ballistic missiles, this will be the first missile test since Pyongyang launched a medium-range ballistic missile on February 12.

Tokyo had "lodged a stern protest with North Korea", Abe told reporters. Around 3,600 additional USA military personnel have joined 28,000 United States troops already based in South Korea for "Operation Foal Eagle", which continues until April 30. A ballistic missile was sacked in February in an action condemned by the UN, US and South Korea.

Following the launch, South Korea's national security council was set to meet.

Military officials raised the possibility that the projectiles could be intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching the west of the U.S. mainland if launched at a high angle. He added that the launches "are a clear sign that North Korea has entered a new stage as a threat".

North Korea conducted two nuclear tests past year.

The launches come days after Washington and Seoul began major military exercises on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea denounced the exercises and warned last week that it was ready to retaliate. The large-scale exercises, involving more than 320,000 troops and high-tech firepower, will last through the end of April. The North denies the man who died was the exiled older sibling, while the South says Kim Jong-un's regime had been trying to assassinate him for years.

  • Leroy Wright