Television screen shows a news broadcast with file footage of a North Korean missile test
North Korea Displays New Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile at Parade Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images

A North Korean ballistic missile was launched towards the Sea of Japan off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula Sunday. The Japanese Defense Ministry said the missile was fired from the Sunan area around 7:52 am Japan time in what was perceived as another run of missile tests from Pyongyang.

According to CNN, the missile covered a distance of 300 kilometers and reached a trajectory altitude of 600 kilometers. It came splashing down just outside Japan’s economic zone but has not hit any vessels in the area upon impact. This was the first missile test since its last run on Jan. 30 when Pyongyang had fired its longest-range ballistic missile, a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile since 2017.

This latest launch was a short-range missile. Japanese coast guards were scrambled to the area and advised all vessels to steer clear of its proximity range to avoid getting hit by potential debris.

"North Korea’s ballistic launches are unacceptable. They threaten the security of our country and of the region in general," Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said as he expressed how the country had voiced protest to North Korea about its missile launch through its diplomatic channels.

This was North Korea’s eighth missile test since the start of 2022 as it announced plans to ramp up its line of defense against the United States. Along with this, the country also announced it will restart any and all related military defense activities it had earlier suspended.

At the same time, South Korea’s National Security Council the missile test launch was “undesirable” if peace stabilization is to be achieved while the ongoing Eastern European conflict sits on an edge to resolve Russia's Ukraine invasion.

The National Security Council immediately gathered to conduct an emergency meeting soon after the missile launch saying this now becomes a deep concern. The missile test comes just less than two weeks before South Korea holds its presidential elections on March 9. Should conservative candidate Yoon Suk Yeol win the election, political analysts say he is bound to take a much harder stance against North Korea compared to South Korea’s current leader President Moon Jae-in.

TV screen shows a news broadcast with file footage of a North Korean missile test
People watch a television screen showing a news broadcast with file footage of a North Korean missile test, at a railway station in Seoul on January 27, 2022, after North Korea fired an "unidentified projectile" in the country's sixth apparent weapons test this year according to the South's military. Photo by Jung Yeon-je /AFP via Getty Images

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