North Korea launches missile after warning about military drills

TOKYO, Feb 19 (Al Jazeera) - North Korea launched a long-range ballistic missile into the sea off Japan’s west coast after warning of a strong response to upcoming military drills by South Korea and the United States.

Japanese authorities said the missile plunged into waters on Saturday inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), more than an hour after it was launched, suggesting the weapon was one of Pyongyang’s largest missiles.

“North Korea fires an unidentified ballistic missile into [the] East Sea,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said, referring to the body of water also known as the Sea of Japan.

Denouncing the launch as a “clear breach of UN Security Council resolutions”, the joint chiefs of staff said the missile had flown about 900km (560 miles) before splashing into the sea.

Japanese government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters that North Korea fired an “ICBM-class ballistic missile” to the east, referring to long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles that Pyongyang has increasingly tested. ...continue reading

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