16:00 GMT +326 May 2017
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    A man watches a TV news program reporting about North Korea's missile launch (File Photo)

    Japanese Defense Minister Says DPRK's Missile Altitude Could Exceed 1,200 Miles

    © AP Photo/ Lee Jin-man
    Asia & Pacific
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    Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada suggested that North Korea could have launched a new type of missile on Sunday, as the projectile reached an altitude of over 1,200 miles.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — Japan considers that a presumed altitude of the missile, launched by North Korea on Sunday, amounted to over 2,000 kilometers (1,242 miles), Inada said.

    "We consider that the missile flew at the altitude exceeding 2,000 kilometers. It could be a new type of missile," Inada said at a press conference in Tokyo.

    Earlier in the day, media reported citing the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff that Pyongyang had launched an unidentified missile, presumably a ballistic one, in the vicinity of Kusong, North Pyongan Province, which flew about 430 miles and fell in the Sea of Japan.

    Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that the missile presumably flew for 30 minutes not reaching the Japanese exclusive economic zone.

    At the same time, the US Pacific Command said that it had detected and tracked the North Korean missile launch, but there was no confirmation that it was an intercontinental ballistic missile. The Command added that the missile did not threaten the security of North America.

    Japanese media reported earlier on Sunday citing government sources that the maximum flight altitude of the North Korean missile amounted to over 1,000 kilometers (621 miles).

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    Tags:
    missile launch, Tomomi Inada, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), Japan
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