Timeline: North Korea missile launches test US, South Korea

South Korea says the missile traveled about 280 miles and reached around 74 miles in altitude.

While North Korea continues to launch missiles, it has not conducted a nuclear test so far this year, which would likely result in a stronger response from the US and perhaps even its ally, China.

North Korea is still thought to be several years from its goal of being able to target USA mainland cities with nuclear ICBMs.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said earlier in the day that Tokyo expresses strong protest to Pyongyang as the missile fell into Japan's exclusive economic zone, nearly 190 miles from Japanese Oki Islands.

The U.S. Pacific Command said it tracked what appeared to be a short-range ballistic missile for six minutes and assessed it did not pose a threat to North America.

The ministry said that the two sides agreed to sternly deal with the North's provocations in cooperation with the United Nations, the United States and South Korea.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who had just returned from a G7 meeting in Italy, told reporters: "North Korea's provocation by ignoring repeated warning from the global society is absolutely unacceptable".

'Working with the United States, we will take specific action to deter North Korea'.

Donald Trump said North Korea has shown "great disrespect" for China after its latest ballistic missile test.

The North fired a mid-range missile, known as the Pukguksong-2, on May 21 and conducted a KN-06 surface-to-air guided missile test last week.

The government of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who took office early May and had advocated dialogue with the North, condemned Monday's launch. Scuds are capable of striking US troops in South Korea, for instance, and the two newly developed missiles tested earlier this month have potential ranges that include Japan, Guam and even, according to some South Korean analysts, Alaska.

The North's nuclear and missile programs are perhaps the biggest foreign policy challenges to the new leaders in allies Washington and Seoul.

Japan's prime minister, appearing frustrated at a hastily arranged press conference, said his country simply can not accept North Korea's repeated provocations.

Japan's Defense Ministry also confirmed the missile launch.

Following North Korea's test-firing earlier this month of what analysts said was its longest-range rocket yet, the UN Security Council vowed to push all countries to tighten sanctions against Pyongyang.

  • Leroy Wright