North Korea fired a ballistic missile according to the news agency Yonhap, citing South Korean military sources.
The missile was fired in the direction of the Sea of Japan at around 7:55 am February 12, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was fired from Banghyeon in North Pyongan Province; the flight path has not yet been determined.
“The military is determining if the missile is the Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile,” a military source told Yonhap. The Musudan missile’s range is estimated at about 3,000 kilometers. Based on the missile’s launch site, North Korea experts speculate that it is the Musudan and not a longer-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
Authorities will still determine what type of missile was fired.
The test had been expected for some time, with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un reportedly having announced a test in his New Year’s Eve address to the nation. It was also suggested that the country might test an ICBM this month to mark former leader Kim Jong-il’s birthday, or that it would test a medium-range weapon.
US President Trump has taken a belligerent stance on North Korea. In response to reports that the country was in the final stages of developing a missile that could reach the US at the turn of the year, he tweeted, “North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the US. It won’t happen!”