North Korea Test-fires Another Ballistic Missile

North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile Monday morning that landed in the ocean, the US military said.

South Korea and Japan immediately protested the missile launch, the most recent test-firing by North Korea as it seeks to develop nuclear weapons that can reach US military bases.

The missile was fired at 5:39 a.m. local time (4:39 p.m. Sunday ET) from an area near Wonsan, Kangwon province, toward the eastern part of the Korean Peninsula, according to a statement from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The missile was “assumed” to be one of the SCUD series, the statement said.

“It flew about 450 kilometers,” the statement said. “South Korea and the United States are currently closely analyzing for additional information. Our military is closely monitoring North Korean military and maintaining readiness posture.”

The missile was tracked for six minutes and the North American Aerospace Defense Command said the missile “did not pose a threat to North America,” according to a statement issued by US Pacific Command.

US officials are aware of the launch and “the President has been briefed,” a spokesman for the National Security Council said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered a national security council meeting for 7:30 a.m. Monday, the South Korean statement said.

In an interview with Japanese reporters, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said a “firm protest” was lodged with North Korea.

“In order to deter North Korea, we will take concrete action together with the United States,” he said. “We will maintain high vigilance in coordination with South Korea and the international community and take all possible measures to secure the safety of the people of Japan.”

North Korea claimed about two weeks ago that a previous missile test proved the country had a rocket capable of carrying a large nuclear warhead and that the US mainland and its military base on the Pacific island of Guam were now within its “sighting range for strike.”

South Korea and Japan have condemned the launches, but North Korea has said its missile testing is in reaction to threats against it by the South, the United States and Japan.