UPDATE 1 – North Korea successfully launches ballistic missile

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North Korea has launched a ballistic missile from an area north of Pyongyang, South Korean and Japanese officials say, more than two months after the country’s latest missile test. Only few details were immediately released.

The missile was launched before 3 a.m, local time on Wednesday from a site near Pyongsong in South Pyongan Province, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. It flew eastward but there was no immediate word on where it was heading or what type of missile it was.

An alert from the prime minister’s office in Japan said the missile may fall into waters of Japan’s exclusive economic zone, but no emergency J-Alert was issued for residents. The U.S. military confirmed it had detected a “probable” missile launch but gave no further details.

The test followed indications from both Japan and the United States that North Korea was preparing to launch a missile, possibly as part of the army’s winter training. The country’s most recent missile launch happened on September 15, when it flew a missile over Japan.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have been escalating for months, fueled by North Korea’s frequent missile tests and its advancing nuclear weapons program, as well as U.S. military exercises and threatening statements by President Donald Trump.

North Korea test-fired two long-range missiles in July, including one which in theory is capable of reaching large parts of the U.S. mainland. North Korea also carried out its sixth and most advanced nuclear test to date on September 3, which led to a new round of UN sanctions.

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