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North Korea fires ballistic missile: Seoul Defence Ministry

North Korea fired a ballistic missile, South Korea’s defence ministry said, the first since Donald Trump became US president.

The missile, launched around 7:55 am (local time) from Banghyon air base in the western province of North Pyongan Province, flew east towards the Sea of Japan, it said.

The presumed intermediate-range Musudan ballistic missile was launched at around 7:55 a.m. local time (2255 GMT Saturday) near Banghyeon in North Pyongan province of North Korea, Xinhua news agency reported.

The projectile is estimated to have travelled about 500 km, according to the JCS. It landed in waters off North Korea’s east coast, according to local media reports.

Pyongyang test-fired Musudan missiles near the same place, where an airfield is located, in October last year.

It was North Korea’s first test-launch of a ballistic missile in 2017 and also the first since US President Donald Trump took office on January 20.

South Korea’s military said Pyongyang’s launch of ballistic missile was a provocative act in violation of UN Security Council’s resolutions, which ban North Korea from testing any ballistic missile technology.

The launch, the military believed, was aimed at drawing attention by showing off its nuclear and missile capability and was also part of armed protest against the Trump administration’s hard-line stance toward North Korea.

North Korea in October last year tested Musudan missiles twice that were fired from the same airbase.

Meanwhile, a United States official told media that the test launch conducted by North Korea was probably not an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, provided no further details. A defense official said earlier that the U.S. military had detected the missile launch and was assessing it.

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