On Sunday 14th May at 5.27am local time, North Korea fired a ballistic missile. It flew 700 km in 30 minutes at an altitude of around 2000km before coming down in the sea of Japan.
The missile was launched in the Kusong region, north-west of the capital, Pyongyang according to Yonhap News Agency.
“The type of missile is being assessed and the flight was not consistent with an intercontinental ballistic missile,” a U.S. Pacific Command spokesperson said.
Japan and South Korea are growing increasingly concerned by the North’s frequent missile tests. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters:
“Once again North Korea has launched a ballistic missile despite strong warnings from the international community, this is unacceptable. We strongly protest.”
Sunday’s launch came two weeks after the North’s 4th unsuccessful test in a row. The country is believed to be continuing efforts to mount miniaturised nuclear warheads onto long-range missiles capable of striking the US mainland.
Less than twenty-four hours before the latest launch, a senior North Korean diplomat suggested dialogue with the US would be possible “under the right conditions”.