North Korea carries out first missile test of the year landing in Japanese waters

South Korean television report the North Korean weapons test
South Korean television report the North Korean weapons test Copyright AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon
Copyright AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon
By Euronews with AP
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South Korean and Japanese authorities have reported that North Korea has fired its first Intercontinental Ballistic Missile of the year, which landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone.


North Korea carried out its first Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) test of the year on Saturday, as a warning against upcoming US-South Korean military drills.

Japanese authorities claimed the missile flew some 66 minutes before landing in the country's exclusive economic zone.  Tokyo's Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada said the missile could have the capacity to fly 14,000 km which means it was capable of hitting anywhere on the United States mainland.

Seoul's presidential office said it had held a National Security Council meeting to discuss the launch, and participants had decided to "take stern measures against any attempts to threaten our people".

Tensions on the Korean peninsula have steadily risen over the past year. North Korea has carried out a number of tests of various types of weapons nearly every month, including ICBMs.

In an attempt to reassure the South Korean public, Seoul has increased its cooperation and the number of joint military drills with Washington, its key security ally.

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