North Korea has conducted a new missile test, Japan and South Korea say.
The missile reached an altitude of about 3,000km (1,865 miles) and landed in the sea off Japan, the Japanese national broadcaster NHK said.
On 4 July, Pyongyang said it had tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) for the first time.
The latest missile appears to have flown further and for longer than that one, indicating it too was a long-range missile.
The test – the 14th carried out by North Korea in 2017 – is the latest to be conducted in defiance of a UN ban.
The range of North Korea’s ICBM has been disputed, but some experts said it could reach Alaska.
The latest missile was launched at 23:41 North Korea time (15:41 GMT) from Jagang province in the north of the country, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported. Korean missile launches at night are rare.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the missile flew for about 45 minutes – some six minutes longer than the ICBM tested in early July.
He said it landed in the sea in Japan’s exclusive economic zone – not within Japan’s territorial waters.
NHK said it reached an altitude of about 3,000km – about 200km higher than the previous ICBM.
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in has convened an emergency security meeting for the middle of the night, Yonhap said.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did the same, and again said there was an urgent need to increase pressure on North Korea. “The threat to Japan’s security has become grave and real,” he said.
Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said a launch appeared to have been conducted and that US officials were waiting for more information.
Despite ongoing tests, experts believe Pyongyang does not yet have the capability to miniaturise a nuclear warhead, fit it onto a long-range missile, and ensure it is protected until delivery to the target.
They say many of North Korea’s missiles cannot accurately hit targets.
Others, however, believe that at the rate it is going, Pyongyang may overcome these challenges and develop a nuclear weapon within five to 10 years that could strike the US.
The US has installed a missile defence system in South Korea to combat the threat from the North, but the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system (Thaad) has angered many in the region, especially China.
Original post: BBC News – Worldhappy wheels