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North Korea launches another ‘ballistic missile'

According to Japan's MoD, the ballistic missile that North Korea launched on 4 May flew about 500 km, at a top altitude of about 800 km, and fell off the east coast of North Korea, outside Japan's exclusive economic zone. (Japan MoD)

North Korea launched a ballistic missile into the East Sea (also known as the Sea of Japan) on 4 May, according to Japan, South Korea, and the United States.

The missile launch is the 14th since the beginning of 2022, indicating an unprecedented pace of testing. It also comes just a few days before the United States and South Korea commence military drills and South Korea's inauguration of a new president.

Pyongyang has not officially confirmed the missile launch. However, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said the weapon was launched just after noon local time, from a site near Pyongyang's international airport in the district of Sunan.

The JCS said the missile flew about 470 km at a top altitude of 780 km, with a top speed of about 13,600 km/h. It added that the Republic of Korea (RoK) Armed Forces is “tracking and monitoring related movements to prepare against the possibility of an additional launch, and it is maintaining a full readiness posture”.

Japan's Ministry of Defense (MoD) said it estimated that the missile flew 500 km at a maximum altitude of about 800 km, before falling in the Sea of Japan, outside Japan's exclusive economic zone. The MoD said that it is assessing the missile launch in co-operation with the US and other countries.

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