North Korea Fires Ballistic Missile, Japan and South Korea Says

North Korea fired at least one ballistic missile off its east coast on Jan. 5, Japan and South Korea said.

The Japan Coast Guard, who first reported the launch, said that the projectile had fallen into the sea by 8:23 a.m. local time.

The Japan Coast Guard did not provide further details, but called on all vessels transiting to look out for more updates.

In a text message sent to reporters, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed the launch and said that intelligence authorities from South Korea and the United States “are conducting a detailed analysis.”

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that the Japanese government was working to confirm if it was one of more missiles.

Kishida further said that the government was also working to confirm the safety of aircraft and ships and if the missile landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

“It’s truly regrettable that North Korea has been launching missiles in succession since last year,” Kishida told reporters.

The launch marked North Korea’s first for 2022 and the first since it successfully test-fired a new submarine-launched ballistic missile last October.

The launch underscores North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un’s New Year pledge to strengthen the country’s military.

United Nations Security Council resolutions ban North Korea from testing ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons, and have imposed sanctions.

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