North Korea fires ballistic missile into the sea off eastern coast, Japan President condemns action
 Source : Agencies  Date : 18-Mar-2016

Pyongyang, March 18: Following the ruler Kim Jong-Un order of nuclear warhead and missile tests, North Korea on Friday morning fired a ballistic missile into the sea off its eastern coast. The missile was launched from southwest Sukchon into the East Sea, also called Sea of Japan, which flew around 800 kilometres in the sea.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency cited military sources as saying that it was a Rodong missile, with a maximum range of around 1,300 kilometres, however South Korean Defence spokesperson did not clarify the type of missile. It comes one week after North Korea fired two missiles from North Hwanghae province, south of Pyongyang, toward the sea east of the Korean Peninsula, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

The United Nations Security Council had, earlier this month, imposed its toughest sanctions on North Korea for its nuclear tests. Meanwhile, US has claimed that North Korea fired two ballistic missiles into the sea off its eastern coast.

A US defense official said both are believed to be Nodong MRBMs, medium range ballistic missiles. Korea has not commented on the report. US President Barack Obama earlier imposed new sanctions on Pyongyang, after its recent "illicit" nuclear test and satellite launch.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency also cited unnamed sources saying a second missile was detected but it may have disintegrated in mid-air. They appeared to be medium-range Rodong missiles fired from road-mobile launch vehicles.

With a maximum range of 1,300km, the Rodong would have the capability to reach all of South Korea and parts of Japan. Lt Col Michelle Baldanza, from the US Defence press office said after the latest launch: "We call on North Korea to refrain from actions that further raise tensions in the region."

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned North Korea's actions and called on the country ‘to exercise self-restraint’. He said Japan would take precautionary measures, including surveillance.