North fires first missile during South's Moon administration

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North fires first missile during South's Moon administration

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North Korea unveils what seems to be a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at a military parade in Pyongyang on April 15, 2017, in this photo taken from North Korean TV footage. [YONHAP]

North Korea fired a ballistic missile early Sunday morning that flew about 700 kilometers (435 miles), South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

The apparent missile test is the first since Moon Jae-in’s inauguration here as president.

The military said the projectile was launched from the northwest city of Kusong, in North Pyongan Province, which is about 118 kilometers northwest of Pyongyang, the capital, and 55 kilometers south from the China-North Korea border.

The type of projectile was not immediately known.

North Korea launched 10 ballistic missiles this year throughout seven tests, the most previous on April 29, nearly 12 hours before a U.S. Navy strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson was to enter South Korea’s East Sea for joint military drills with the South Korean Navy.

The latest launch on Sunday is the first since President Moon Jae-in kicked off his five-year term in South Korea four days ago, replacing impeached leader Park Geun-hye, who now awaits a corruption trial in a local court.

Moon ordered a National Security Council meeting this morning at the Blue House, the presidential office said in a statement.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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