North Korean forces reportedly launched another ballistic missile at around 9:40 a.m. local time, South Korean officials reported.
The South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that Tuesday’s launch came from an airfield in North Korea’s northwestern Phyongan province, according to Reuters.
The missile could have landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), according to a Japanese defence official cited in a CNN report. Another Japanese official also corroborated the final destination of the missile, adding that it flew for 40 minutes before landing in Japan’s EEZ.
South Korean military officials claimed that the missile flew over 570 miles, Yonhap reported.
US Pacific Command also confirmed the launch, adding that it was a “single launch of a land-based intermediate range ballistic missile.”
According to defence experts, this would be the thirteenth long-range ballistic missile launch by the regime, and the fourth launch since Moon Jae-in took office. The July 4 launch also falls on a national holiday for the US, the third such launch since 2006 and 2009, according to Wall Street Journal editor Alastair Gale.
Shortly after the launch, President Donald Trump called out North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Twitter: “North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?”
“Hard to believe that South Korea and Japan will put up with this much longer,” Trump continued. “Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!”
The launch comes days after Trump met with Moon Jae-in in Washington D.C., where they discussed North Korea’s provocations.
“The era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime has failed,” Trump said in a statement after the meeting. “And, frankly, that patience is over.”
Moon Jae-in also set a stern tone by saying “threats and provocations from the North will be met with a stern response.”
Trump also held a phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday, where he reportedly pressured Xi to made well on his promise to convince North Korea to cease its provocations. Trump was also said to have expressed interest in the US acting on its own, should China fail to reign in North Korea, according to The New York Times.
The launch also comes days before the G20 Summit in Germany, where world leaders are scheduled to assemble and address economic issues around the world.
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