North Korea fired a suspected ballistic missile into the sea on Wednesday, the South Korean and Japanese militaries said, its first public weapons launch in about two months and a signal that Pyongyang isn't interested in rejoining denuclearisation talks anytime soon and would rather focus on boosting its weapons arsenal.
The latest launch came after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to further boost his military capability — without disclosing any new policies toward the United States or South Korea — at a high-profile ruling party conference last week.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that North Korea fired a suspected ballistic missile toward its eastern waters on Wednesday morning. It said South Korean and US intelligence authorities were trying to analyse more information about the launch.
The Japanese Defence Ministry also detected the North Korean launch, saying the country likely fired a missile.
“We find it truly regrettable that North Korea has continued to fire missiles from last year,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters.