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North Korea fires longest ballistic missile ever, Will US respond?

North Korea has launched a ballistic missile, the US, South Korea and Japan have confirmed.

“North Korea launched an unidentified ballistic missile eastward from the vicinity of Pyongsong, South Pyongan Province, at dawn today,” said a statement by the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

It added that Seoul and the Washington were analyzing the projectiles’ trajectory.

“We detected a probable missile launch from North Korea. We are in the process of assessing the situation and will provide additional details when available,” said Pentagon spokesman Colonel Robert Manning.

The White House also released a statement in which it said that US President Donald Trump has been briefed on the incident.

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The Pentagon also announced that the missile was an ICBM which remained aloft for about 1,000 kilometers, and landed in waters off Japan within the country’s exclusive economic zone.

Following the launch, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ordered an emergency meeting of cabinet ministers.

Earlier, Japan and South Korea had said that they intercepted radio signals suggesting that North Korea was preparing for a new ballistic missile test.

Pyongyang sparked an outcry in September when it conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test. It has also fired two missiles that controversially flew over Japan before landing in the sea.

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North Korea says it needs to develop its missiles and nuclear weapons as a deterrent against hostility by the US and its regional allies.

The US has permanent military presence in the region, including in bases in both South Korea and Japan.

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