A U.S. official says that American intelligence has determined with a high degree of confidence that North Korea launched a two-stage intercontinental ballistic missile overnight, as the country claimed.

An assessment of the launch is ongoing, the official said, adding that North Korea’s missile advancements help demonstrate how it can now fire its missiles on short notice.

After initial reports on the North Korean launch, which President Trump tweeted about, U.S. Pacific Command first described the missile as an intermediate range ballistic missile, not an ICBM.

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According to the U.S. and South Korea, the missile was launched into a high trajectory of 1,730 miles in altitude and flew horizontally about 575 miles, into the Sea of Japan.

The missile emerged from an airfield in Kusong, a city in North Korea's far northwestern corner, an area used for launches in the past. U.S. officials said Monday that they were anticipating a North Korean launch but were keeping an eye on a facility in the eastern part of the country.

Trump took to Twitter on Monday, before issued an official statement on the matter, to respond to reports that North Korea conducted another missile test.

"North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?" he tweeted late Monday, presumably referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "Hard to believe that South Korea … and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all."

The launch was North Korea's 10th ballistic missile test this year.

A spokesman for Japan's Cabinet said the missile landed inside Japan's exclusive economic zone, which extends 200 miles from its shores.

Original Article


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