North Korea fires ballistic missile into Sea of Japan

Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File
FILE – In this photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a photo session with the officers and soldiers who took part in a celebration the 90th founding anniversary of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army, in North Korea Wednesday, April 27, 2022. North Korea launched a suspected ballistic missile toward its eastern waters on Wednesday, May 4, South Korean and Japanese officials said, days after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to bolster his nuclear arsenal “at the fastest possible pace” and threatened to use them against rivals.

SEOUL — North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan on Wednesday from the vicinity of the Sunan district of Pyongyang, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

In Tokyo, Vice Defense Minister Makoto Oniki announced later the same day that the ballistic missile was launched around 12:02 p.m. from the western side of North Korea to the east.

The missile reached a maximum altitude of about 800 kilometers, flew about 500 kilometers, then splashed into the sea near the eastern coast of North Korea, outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone, Oniki said to reporters at the Defense Ministry.

No reports of damage have been confirmed.

The Japanese government lodged a stern protest to Pyongyang through the Japanese Embassy in Beijing.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida ordered exhaustive efforts to collect and analyze information on North Korea’s missile launch and to thoroughly check the safety of aircraft and vessels near the projectile’s trajectory.

Kishida: N. Korea missile launch absolutely unacceptable

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, in Rome visiting European heads of state, strongly condemned North Korea’s ballistic missile launch on Wednesday, saying it “threatens the peace, security and stability of the region and the international community, and is absolutely unacceptable.”

Kishida intends to raise the issue during his upcoming meetings with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.