“We confirm that North Korea has fired an unidentified ballistic missile off its eastern coast towards the East Sea from Banghyun area in Northern Pyong An Province at around 9:40 am (KST) Tuesday morning,” a South Korean military official told NBC. “The launch was immediately reported to the President Moon Jae In.”
Moon ordered a National Security Council meeting after the launch, South Korean state news agency Yonhap reported, citing the Blue House — the South Korean equivalent of the White House.
The meeting was to determine the country’s defense readiness against further incidents, Yonhap said.
Japan’s main government spokesperson said there were no reports of damage to planes and ships in the proximity.
“It flew for approximately 40 minutes and is believed to have landed within Japan’s economic exclusive zone,” he said in comments translated from Japanese by NBC News.
“Today’s ballistic missile launch was extremely problematic act and at the same time a clear violation of the Security Council resolution. We cannot condone these repeated acts of provocation from North Korea and we have lodge our fierce compliant to the North Koreans,” he said.
Yonhap, citing the South Korean military, reported the missile flew more than 930 kilometers (around 578 miles).
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he would aim to increase international pressure on North Korea and he would ask China and Russian leaders to play more constructive roles. Reuters reported
Market reaction was tepid. South Korea’s Kospi index was trading a tad higher at around 2395 before the news, dipping as low as 2385.33 afterward, but recovered slightly to trade at 2392.87 at 9:48 a.m. HK/SIN, down around 0.1 percent from the previous close.
The South Korean won initially strengthened on the news, with the dollar fetching as little as 1146.67 won afterward, compared with as much as 1149.98 won beforehand. The currency pair was trading at 1148.50 at 9:51 a.m. HK/SIN.
Japan’s yen, considered a safe-haven play, also initially strengthened on the news, with the dollar/yen pair falling as low as 113.11 from as high as 113.40 beforehand. At 10:01 a.m. HK/SIN, it was at 113.25.
In the U.S., President Donald Trump expressed concern via Twitter.
“North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? Hard to believe that South Korea … and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all,” he said over two tweets.