North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) early Wednesday morning, the Pentagon has said.
According to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JOC), the launch came from the South Pyongan province at 3:17 a.m.
The Pentagon’s initial assessment found that the ICBM traveled roughly 1,000km at an altitude of 4,500km before splashing down into the Sea of Japan.
“This is the highest performance we’ve seen in North Korea’s ICBM to date,” Shea Cotton, research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, said on Twitter.
The Japanese Prime Minister’s office said the North Korean missile appeared to fly for 50 minutes.
“The missile flew over Japan’s northern main island of Hokkaido and fell into the Pacific Ocean,” Japanese news outlet NHK reports.
Experts say the rare nighttime launch is intended to simulate a real-world military scenario.
The South Korean military staged a “precision strike” missile exercise in response to Pyongyang’s launch.