SEOUL/TOKYO: According to South Korea, North Korea launched what could have been a brand-new ballistic missile on Thursday, giving residents of northern Japan cause for concern but ultimately posing no threat.
According to South Korea’s military, the missile traveled around 1,000 km (620 miles), it was a “grave provocation.”
Although the apogee, or maximum altitude, of the missiles, has not been officially revealed, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported that it appears to have been less than 3,000km, which is much lower than the height of some tests last year, which exceeded 6,000km.
The South Korean military asserted that it was on high alert and closely working with its primary ally, the United States, which “strongly condemned” what it described as a long-range ballistic missile test in a statement from the White House.
According to a military official from South Korea, the test reportedly included a brand-new weapon system that was recently unveiled at a military parade in North Korea.
The defense ministry suggested that a solid-fuel missile may have been the object after the military examined the trajectory and range of the projectile.
More solid-fuel missiles are being built by North Korea because they are simpler to transport and store and may be launched with little to no advance notice or planning.
While North Korea has conducted tests of short-range solid-fuel missiles, no such tests have been conducted on long-range missiles, according to Bruce Bennett, a senior defense expert at the RAND Corporation in the United States.
The missile was launched from a location close to Pyongyang around 7:23 a.m. (22:23 GMT on Wednesday), according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. Since 2017, this location has been a popular location for big missile test launches.