North Korea says it successfully test-fired an upgraded ballistic missile on Sunday. It says the test verified that its missile technology has improved.
The announcement was made through the country's state media on Monday. The media say the "Polar Star Two" ballistic missile was successfully launched under the supervision of leader Kim Jong Un.
The missile was fired from a site near the city of Kusong in the northwestern province of Pyongan-pukdo on Sunday morning.
South Korea's military says the missile reached an altitude of 550 kilometers before falling into the Sea of Japan more than 500 kilometers east of the launch site.
North Korea says the missile was an upgraded version of a submarine-launched ballistic missile that was successfully tested in August last year, and that its powerful engine was loaded with solid fuel.
A series of photographs carried by the Korean Workers' Party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, show the missile was launched using so called "cold launch" technology. The missile was first ejected by means of compressed gas from the launch pad before the rocket engine was ignited.
Another photo shows what's believed to be a trajectory of the missile on a TV monitor behind Kim Jong Un.
The Japanese government is planning to reduce penalties for those who plot serious crimes like terrorism but turn themselves in before actually committing them under a contentious anti-conspiracy bill it is preparing, sources close to the matter said Monday. (Kyodo)
Car-bicycle collisions accounted for about 40 pct of fatal traffic accidents in Japan last year in which passenger cars bumped into other vehicles as they encountered at intersections or other parts of the road, a National Police Agency survey has revealed. (Jiji)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday sought to deny allegations that he is linked to an Osaka-based ultranationalist kindergarten as the public outcry over the operator and its alleged efforts to indoctrinate children with xenophobia and pre-war militarism grows. (Japan Times)
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