The US military detected a missile test by North Korea and is assessing the launch, a US defence official said on Saturday. “We can confirm that we did detect a missile launch from North Korea,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We are assessing and will have more information soon.” The official provided no immediate information on the type of missile launched.
North Korea fired an unidentified projectile early on Sunday into the sea off the east coast of the Korean peninsula, the South Korean military said. The object was launched from an area in North Korea’s western region, the South’s Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a short statement. It did not provide further details.
Earlier, the country’s Yonhap news agency reported in a short dispatch that the North had fired a ballistic missile. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said in his New Year speech that the country was close to test-launching an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and state media have said such a launch could come at any time.
That prompted a vow of an “overwhelming” response from US Defense Secretary James Mattis when he travelled to South Korea earlier this month. North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests and a number of missile-related tests at an unprecedented rate since early last year and was seen by experts and officials to be making progress in its weapons capabilities.