North Korean ballistic missile
North Korean ballistic missileReuters

North Korea fired what could have been a ballistic missile, Japan’s Coast Guard and Defense Ministry said on Wednesday, according to the Reuters news agency.

South Korea’s military similarly said that North Korea had fired an unspecified ballistic missile toward the East Sea, reported the South’s Yonhap news agency.

The launch comes amid tensions between the US and North Korea, as the North has intensified its missile launches in recent months, with some triggering emergency warning systems in parts of Japan.

The country tested dozens of ballistic weapons in 2022, including its first intercontinental ballistic missiles since 2017.

In May, North Korea failed in test firing what it described as a “space satellite”, which plunged into the sea after the botched launch.

Earlier this week, North Korea denounced a move by the United States to introduce a nuclear missile submarine to waters near the Korean peninsula, saying it creates a situation that brings a nuclear conflict closer to reality.

Hours later, Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, claimed a US spy plane had strayed into North Korean airspace and promised that her country would respond "decisively" if the US military breached its airspace again.