North Korea nuclear program
North Korea nuclear program iStock

North Korea fired a ballistic missile off its east coast on Tuesday, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said, according to Reuters.

The Japanese government warned citizens to take cover after its coast guard reported on a suspected missile launch by North Korea, the report said.

Minutes later, the Japanese government said the North Korean missile had flown over the country and the warning was canceled, according to BNO News.

The latest launch was Pyongyang's fifth launch in a week. Just last week, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles ahead of a visit to South Korea by US Vice President Kamala Harris.

North Korea has tested more than 30 ballistic weapons in 2022, including its first intercontinental ballistic missiles since 2017, as it continues to expand its military capabilities amid a prolonged stalemate in nuclear diplomacy.

In May, it fired a volley of missiles, including possibly its largest intercontinental ballistic missile.

In July, Pyongyang fired what appeared to be multiple rocket launchers.

The United States and South Korea have warned of a “swift response” if North Korea conducts a nuclear test, but have also offered talks as a way out.

Last month, North Korea passed a law officially enshrining its nuclear weapons policies. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the new legislation makes the country’s nuclear status "irreversible" and bars any negotiation on denuclearization.