The US, Japan and South Korea have called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting — to be held on Tuesday — to discuss North Korea’s missile test on Sunday, diplomatic officials said.
The new missile test by Pyongyang comes just a week after the pariah nation fired a medium-range rocket on a high trajectory, ultimately landing in the ocean near Russia, and is the eighth missile test by the reclusive communist regime so far this year.
The North Korean army launched the missile in an easterly direction from a site near Pukchang at 4:59 pm local time, Efe quoted the North Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff as saying.
The missile reached “a maximum altitude of 560 kilometers (347 miles) and traveled a distance of 500 km (310 mi.),” according to a statement by Pyongyang. The rocket appeared to have the characteristics of a Pukguksong 2, a medium-range ballistic missile fired for the first time by North Korea on Feberuary 12.
The US Pacific Command said that the missile fell into the Sea of Japan and that all indications are that it was a medium-range missile.
The repeated tests of weapons of mass destruction by Pyongyang have caused Washington to toughen its rhetoric since the inauguration of President Donald Trump, whose administration has suggested the possibility of staging a preemptive attack on North Korea, substantially increasing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Diplomatic officials did not say what the agenda was for the Tuesday Security Council meeting, but on earlier such occasions the body has ended its deliberations with a unanimous condemnation of Pyongyang’s challenges to the international community.
Meanwhile, North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency said that the latest missile test was a “success,” adding that Pyongyang’s leader, Kim Jong-un, observed the test.