The two-month lull is over: North Korea has launched another missile, ending a pause in testing that had raised hopes for diplomatic progress. The ballistic missile went up about 3am Wednesday local time and flew east before coming down in the Sea of Japan. "We will take care of it," President Trump told reporters afterward, per CNBC, but he did not elaborate. Military analysts from the US and South Korea were still assessing the type and scope of the missile. More details and developments:
- An ICBM? One big question is whether it was a standard missile or one of the intercontinental variety capable of reaching the US. The answer wasn't immediately clear, but the initial assessment points to an ICBM, according to Pentagon spokesman Col Robert Manning, per Yonhap News Agency.
- Long flight: Early reports suggest the missile flew for about 50 minutes, which the Guardian reports would be a North Korean record. The Pentagon's Manning estimates it went about 620 miles, and it may have come down within 200 nautical miles of Japan's coast, reports the AP. There were conflicting reports on whether it actually flew over Japan, as previous missiles have done.
- South Korea responds: Immediately after the launch, South Korea conducted its own "precision strike" missile exercise, reports the Western Journal. Seoul appeared to be sending the signal that it was ready to quickly respond to any strike from the North.
- Quick condemnation: Japan's government said it would "never accept North Korea's continuous provocative behavior," while the EU called the launch a "further unacceptable violation" of North Korea's international obligations, per the BBC.
- The last one: The new launch comes about 10 weeks after the last launch of a missile, one that flew over Japan on Sept. 15. That one capped a flurry of tests by the North, notes the Washington Post, reportedly including one of a hydrogen bomb. The new launch also comes a week after Trump relisted North Korea as a state sponsor of terror.
- Hawaii preps: The launch coincides with Cold War-era warnings being reinstated in Hawaii.
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