North Korea conducts ballistic missile launch towards Japanese EEZ

North Korea fired a missile that may have landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.

North Korea fired a projectile that appeared to be a missile shortly before midnight Japan time on Friday, Japan’s public broadcaster NHK said, citing government officials.

Abe is convening an emergency meeting of officials, Reuters reported.┬áJapan’s chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga is also expected to brief media shortly.

According to CNN, the Pentagon has also confirmed the detection a ballistic missile launch out of North Korea at approximately 10:45 am. EST on Friday.

South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff announced that the missile was launched from Chagang Province in northern North Korea, at around 11:41 PM

In early July, Pyongyang claimed to have successfully tested Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) for the first time. That test was the latest in a series conducted in defiance of a UN ban. The range of the latest test is not known.

The range of North Korea’s ICBM has been disputed, but some experts said it could reach Alaska. If confirmed, the latest test would be the 14th missile test conducted by North Korea in 2017.

The US believes that North Korea will be able to launch a reliable nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by early 2018, a US official familiar with the latest intelligence assessment confirmed to CNN Wednesday.

That would be an acceleration of two years from previous estimates that put Pyongyang three to five years from fully developing long-range missile capabilities.

The official clarified to CNN that while North Korea can currently get a missile “off the ground,” there are still a lot of undetermined variables about guidance, re-entry and the ability to hit a specific target.

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