South Korean authorities have announced that North Korea shot a ballistic missile towards Japan. This is the first launch since the communist kingdom shot one in September. From Fox News:

South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, which first reported the launch, said the missile “flew eastward from the vicinity of Pyongyang” toward the Sea of Japan, according to South Korean military officials. The missile launch happened around 3 a.m. in North Korea. South Korea’s military had reportedly staged a “precision strike” missile exercise in response.

An official told Fox News the U.S. military was still analyzing the data to determine what type of ballistic missile was launched. North Korea has been working hard to perfect “re-entry” technology to one day have a warhead be able to survive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

Col. Robert Manning III, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement: “We are in the process of assessing the situation, and we will be providing additional details when available.”

South Korean and American officials had been curious as to why North Korea hasn’t launched anything in two months. The hermit country conducted 15 tests with 22 missiles since February, but these two months was the longest span between tests.

Earlier this morning, Japanese media reported that authorities thought North Korea was preparing for a launch due to radio signals. From The Japan Times:

Japan has detected radio signals suggesting North Korea may be preparing another ballistic missile launch in the coming days, although such signals are not unusual and satellite images did not show fresh activity, government sources said Tuesday.

After firing missiles at a pace of about two or three a month since April, North Korean launches paused in September, after it fired an intermediate-range missile over Hokkaido.

“This is not enough to determine (if a launch is likely soon),” one source said.

The government, however, has been on alert after intercepting the radio signals, with one official saying the North could launch a missile “within the next few days.”

D.C. officials also noticed movement earlier this week in North Korea that made them believe a launch would occur soon.

South Korean officials believe that North Korea will have a full fledge nuclear weapon soon. Fox News reported:

North Korea’s lull in missile launches made October the only month a test wasn’t conducted since the start of the year. Between February and September, the regime tested a missile an average of every two weeks. This is also the first provocation since Trump designated North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism.

South Korean unification minister Cho Myoung-gyon told foreign correspondents in Seoul on Tuesday that North Korea is on the verge of achieving full nuclear capability with an intercontinental ballistic missile that could carry a nuclear warhead, according to Yonhap News Agency.

“North Korea has been developing its nuclear weapons at a faster-than-expected pace. We cannot rule out the possibility that North Korea could announce its completion of a clear force within one year,” Cho said.


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