N. Korea Fires What Appears ICBM into Sea of Japan (UPDATE2)

TOKYO/SEOUL (Jiji Press) — North Korea fired what is presumed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile toward the Sea of Japan on Monday morning, according to Japanese and South Korean officials.

The South Korean military said the ballistic missile was launched from Pyongyang, while Japan’s Defense Ministry said that a projectile that may be a ballistic missile was fired from North Korea.

The projectile, believed to be an ICBM-class missile, apparently fell into waters outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone after being launched on a lofted trajectory, or at a steep angle, according to Japanese government sources.

The South Korean military said the missile traveled about 1,000 kilometers.

Following the launch, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida instructed his government to provide information speedily to the public, work to confirm the safety of aircraft and ships and make full preparations for a contingency.

Kishida condemned the launch, saying that it is a clear violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and a threat to regional peace and stability.

The ministry had forecast that the missile would fall off Hokkaido’s Okushiri Island in norther Japan around 9:37 a.m.

A senior South Korean government official warned recently that Pyongyang may launch an ICBM this month. Japan, South Korea and the United States were on high alert.

Just on Sunday night, North Korea launched what is presumed to be a short-range ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan. That missile also fell outside the Japanese EEZ, the ministry said.