North Korea has fired an unidentified ballistic missile into the sea off South Korea’s east coast, Seoul’s military said on Monday, the latest in an apparent volley of tests by Pyongyang this year.

“North Korea has fired an unidentified missile into the East Sea,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

Tokyo also confirmed the launch, with the Japanese defence ministry saying “a suspected ballistic missile was launched from North Korea” in a post on X.

Japan’s coast guard, citing the defence ministry, said shortly after the initial announcement that the missile appeared to have already fallen.

Japanese media including public broadcaster NHK reported that the suspected missile fell outside Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone, citing unnamed government sources.

Seoul-based specialist site NK News said that the “brief flight time, likely under ten minutes, points to the launch involving a short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) or 600mm multiple launch rocket system (MLRS).”

The latest launch comes after UN sanctions monitoring against the nuclear-armed nation was upended last month by Russia.

On Friday, North Korea tested a “super-large warhead” designed for a strategic cruise missile, state media said.

Analysts have warned that North Korea could be testing cruise missiles ahead of sending them to Russia for use in Ukraine.

Seoul claims Pyongyang has sent around 7,000 containers of weapons to Moscow for use in Ukraine.

With AFP