North Korea fires ballistic missile in latest test

FILE - In this Saturday, April 15, 2017, file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves during a military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea, to celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung, the country's late founder and grandfather of current ruler Kim Jong Un. North Korea has accused the U.S. and South Korean spy agencies of an unsuccessful assassination attempt on leader Kim Jong Un involving bio-chemical weapons. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP/WCMH) — North Korea on Sunday fired a ballistic missile from an area near its capital, Pyongyang, South Korea’s military said, in the latest weapons test for a country speeding up its development of nuclear weapons and missiles.

The missile was fired from an area near Pukchang, in South Phyongan Province, and flew eastward about 500 kilometers (310 miles), said South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. It didn’t immediately provide more details.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a National Security Council meeting at the presidential Blue House to discuss the missile launch, Moon’s office said.

The launch comes a week after North Korea successfully tested a new midrange missile that Pyongyang said could carry a heavy nuclear warhead. Experts said that rocket flew higher and for a longer time than any other missile previously tested by North Korea, and that it could one day reach targets as far away as Hawaii and Alaska.

White House officials traveling with President Donald Trump in Saudi Arabia said they are aware of the latest weapons test. Officials also said that the system has a shorter range than the missiles launched in North Korea’s most recent tests.

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