North Korea fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile off its east coast, South Korea's military said on Wednesday, the latest in a string of missile launches by the isolated country in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.
North Korea test-fired the missile at around 5:30 a.m. (0830 GMT) near the coastal city of Sinpo, where satellite imagery shows a submarine base to be located, and traveled about 500 kilometers (311 miles), officials at South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Defence Ministry told Reuters.
The projectile landed in Japan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ), an area of control designated by countries to help maintain air security, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the latest missile launch was "unforgivable" and posed a grave threat to Japan's security, adding his government had lodged a stern protest against its isolated neighbor.
"This poses a grave threat to Japan's security, and is an unforgivable act that damages regional peace and stability markedly," Abe told reporters at the prime minister's residence.