North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Monday morning local time that landed within the waters of Japan’s economic zone, according to South Korean officials. It is the latest in a series of tests that defy international laws and that have escalated tensions.
The launch came from the country’s east coast, near the town of Wonsan, and was fired shortly before 7:30 a.m. It’s believed to be a scud-class ballistic missile that flew about 280 miles before it crashed into the ocean. North Korea has tested dozens of similar tests in the past year, as well as two nuclear tests. North Korea has a stockpile of ballistic missiles, originally developed by the Soviet Union, and it has said its goal is to develop technology that would allow it to reach the U.S. The country is still thought to be several years away from that goal, but it has grown increasingly close. On Sunday, North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, also oversaw the launch of a new anti-aircraft weapon system, and ordered its mass production.
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said Monday the test was “highly problematic from the perspective of the safety of shipping and air traffic and is a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.”
The Trump administration has at times taken a hard stance against North Korea, and said military intervention is not out of the question. In March, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, “All options are on the table. North Korea must understand that the only path to a secure, economically-prosperous future is to abandon its development of nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and other weapons of mass destruction.”