North Korea fired a ballistic missile in its first provocation since U.S. President Donald Trump labeled the country a state sponsor of terrorism earlier this month, Yonhap reported, citing South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The agency didn’t immediately provide more details on the launch. Japan’s coast guard said the missile fell into the sea near Japan.
North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, and has launched more than a dozen missiles this year as Kim Jong Un’s regime seeks the capability to hit the continental U.S. with a nuclear weapon. The United Nations has imposed stringent sanctions on North Korea for its weapons tests.
Trump on Nov. 20 labeled North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism because of its threats of nuclear devastation and support of terrorist acts including assassinations on foreign soil. North Korea responded by saying the designation reminds the country it should keep hold of its ” precious nuclear sword. ”
On Nov. 14, the U.S. wrapped up strike force drills in the Western Pacific using three aircraft carriers — the first such exercise in a decade. North Korea routinely complains about U.S. drills in the region, using them as justification to ratchet up its own weapons program.
The launch ends a lull in test activity by the Kim regime. North Korea’s last provocation was on Sept. 15 when it fired a second missile over Japan in as many months