North Korea fires unidentified missile over Japan, South Korea says

EMBED </>More Videos

North Korea has fired an unidentified missile from its capital, Pyongyang, according to South Korean officials.

South Korea's military says North Korea fired an unidentified missile from its capital Pyongyang in a continuation of weapons tests following its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date on Sept. 3.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said Friday that the missile was launched from Sunan, the site of Pyongyang's international airport.

The missile flew through Japanese airspace and people in that country reported getting warnings telling them to seek cover.

The North last month used the airport to fire a Hwasong-12 intermediate range missile that flew over northern Japan in what it declared as a "meaningful prelude" to containing the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam and the start of more ballistic missile launches targeting the Pacific Ocean.

South Korea's Defense Ministry says the country's military conducted a live-fire ballistic missile drill in response to the North's launch.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has scheduled a National Security Council meeting to discuss the launch.

The apparent test came on the same day the top commander of U.S. nuclear forces said he assumes the Sept. 3 nuclear test by North Korea was a hydrogen bomb, suggesting a heightened U.S. concern that the North has advanced to a new level of nuclear firepower.

Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, commander of Strategic Command, told reporters that while he was not in a position to confirm it, he assumes from the size of the Sept. 3 underground explosion and other factors that it was a hydrogen bomb - which is a leap beyond the fission, or atomic, bombs North Korea has previously tested.

Hyten spoke before news of the latest launch was made public Thursday.

Hyten would not discuss the exact size of the explosion from the Sept. 3 test, but Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Wednesday that it was in excess of 100 kilotons - far larger than any of the North's five previous nuclear tests.

"When I look at a thing that size, I as a military officer assume that it's a hydrogen bomb," Hyten said. As head of Strategic Command, he would be in charge of all elements of the U.S. nuclear force in the event of nuclear war.

Related Topics:
politicsnorth koreanuclear weapons
(Copyright ©2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments