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North Korea has launched a "possible ballistic missile" just days after Kim Jong-un said he was prepared to use his nuclear arsenal.
The Japanese Defence Ministry confirmed the launch this morning, writing on Twitter: "A possible ballistic missile was launched from North Korea. We will inform you as soon as a follow-up report is available."
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff also confirmed that North Korea fired an "unidentified projectile".
A warning was also issued to vessels in the Sea of Japan which read: "Vessels should pay attention to future information, and if they find a fallen object, do not approach them and report the relevant information to the Japan Coast Guard."
Japanese authorities have now said that the projectile reached the end of its trajectory and landed outside of Japan's territorial waters.
Japanese, South Korean and US intelligence authorities are investigating the launch.
According to NK News, the missile was launched from the Pyongyang area, possibly from Sunan International Airport.
The outlet also claims that, in a photo seen by their news team, a "white plume of smoke" could be seen "fading into a blue sky with a vertical trajectory".
On Twitter they added: "NK News understands the sound of the projectile grew quieter as it flew higher, unlike during a failed test witnessed from the city on March 16."
March 16 saw Kim Jong-un's top scientists fluff the launch of the Hwasong-17, a supposed new "monster missile".
The Hwasong-17 is an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads over 9,000 miles (15,000km).
A statement from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff on the morning of March 16 said: "North Korea fired an unknown projectile from the Sunan area around 09:30 today but it is presumed that it failed immediately after launch."
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This comes after despot Kim Jong-un spoke about his willingness to use nuclear weapons at a military parade last week.
Speaking to troops gathered in Pyongyang plaza he said: "We will continue to implement measures aimed at strengthening and developing our country's nuclear forces at the maximum speed.
"The fundamental mission of our nuclear forces is to deter war, but if an undesirable situation emerges on our land, our nuclear forces cannot be limited to a single mission of preventing war.
"If any forces, regardless of who they are, try to infringe upon our fundamental interests, our nuclear forces will have no choice but to absolutely carry out its unexpected second mission."
- Breaking News
- North Korea Dprk
- Kim Jong Un
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