North Korea nuclear program
North Korea nuclear programiStock

North Korea fired a ballistic missile off its east coast, South Korea's military said on Monday (local time), according to Reuters.

Other details of the missile, including its flight range, were not immediately available.

Japan's Coast Guard said North Korea launched three projectiles that could be ballistic missiles, all three of which landed outside Japan's EEZ.

The incident comes two days after North Korea conducted a test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The state-run Korean Central News Agency said a Hwasong-15 ICBM was fired in a “surprise ICBM launching drill” under the written orders of leader Kim Jong Un.

The missile flew 989 kilometers for almost 67 minutes to an altitude of 5,768.5 kilometers, according to the KCNA report.

Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, issued a statement and warned against increased presence of US strategic assets on the Korean peninsula.

"We are carefully examining the influence it would exert on the security of our state," she said in the statement quoted by Reuters. "The frequency of using the Pacific as our firing range depends upon the US forces' action character."

North Korea last month began 2023 by firing a short-range ballistic missile toward its eastern waters. Kim later ordered the development of new intercontinental ballistic missiles and massive production of tactical nuclear weapons to counter threats from the United States and South Korea.

North Korea has upped the volume of its ballistic missile tests in recent months. The country tested dozens of ballistic weapons in 2022, including its first intercontinental ballistic missiles since 2017.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said last November that his country's ultimate goal is to possess the world's most powerful nuclear force.