N. Korea used new-type missile for Wed’s launch: Japan’s Kishi

KCNA via Reuters
A view of what state news agency KCNA reports is the test firing of a hypersonic missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea on Wednesday, in this photo released Thursday by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The missile launched by North Korea on Wednesday was a new-type ballistic one, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told reporters on Thursday.

The North Korean missile appeared to be flying at lower-than-usual altitudes of around 50 kilometers at the highest, according to the minister.

Kishi condemned the missile launch as violating related U.N. Security Council resolutions. The Japanese government made a strong protest to North Korea through embassy channels in Beijing.

The defense chief said that Japan is analyzing information in a report by North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency on Thursday that the country successfully test-fired a hypersonic missile with new gliding warhead technology.

Japan presumes that the missile used for the latest launch was different from the Hwasong-8 hypersonic missile that is reported to have been fired last September, the minister added.

Following the missile launch, Takehiro Funakoshi, director-general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, and Sung Kim, U.S. special representative for North Korea, had telephone talks on Thursday.

The Japanese and U.S. officials confirmed close cooperation under the Japan-U.S. and Japan-U.S.-South Korea frameworks.