North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile off its east coast on Monday, its first long-range missile test since July, the South Korean military said.
The missile was fired from near Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, South Korean military officials said. They said they were analyzing data from the test to determine what type of ICBM it was.
North Korea last conducted an ICBM test on July 12, when it launched its Hwasong-18 missile. The Hwasong-18, which was first test-launched in April, is the North’s first ICBM to use solid fuel. That makes it easier to transport and faster to launch than older versions that relied on liquid fuel.
The United States and its allies, particularly South Korea and Japan, have become increasingly concerned about North Korea’s frequent missile tests under its leader, Kim Jong-un, because the country claims to have developed a new, small nuclear warhead that it can mount on its various missiles.
Meeting in Washington last week, senior American and South Korean officials discussed the North Korean nuclear threat. The United States reaffirmed its commitment to “a swift, overwhelming, and decisive response” to any nuclear attack by North Korea against the South.
“Any nuclear attack by North Korea against the United States or its allies is unacceptable and will result in the end of the Kim regime,” they said in a joint statement said on Saturday.