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(Update 3) N. Korea Launches Suspected Ballistic Missile

(Update 3) N. Korea Launches Suspected Ballistic Missile

   Seoul/Tokyo, Jan. 11 (Jiji Press)--North Korea fired an apparent ballistic missile toward the Sea of Japan from around the inland province of Jagang around 7:27 a.m. Tuesday (10:27 p.m. Monday GMT), according to the South Korean military's Joint Chiefs of Staff.
   The projectile flew over 700 kilometers while reaching an altitude of some 60 kilometers.
   Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said that the projectile is presumed to have fallen outside Japan's exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan. The Japan Coast Guard confirmed the launch, saying that an object that might be a ballistic missile was fired from North Korea.
   Meanwhile, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command determined that this was a ballistic missile. "We are aware of the ballistic missile launch and are consulting closely with our allies and partners," it said, adding that the missile launch "highlights the destabilizing impact of" North Korea's illicit weapons program and that the U.S. commitment to the defense of South Korea and Japan "remains ironclad."
   North Korea launched a ballistic missile just Wednesday last week, claiming that it succeeded in a hypersonic missile test. The country seems to be increasing missile-related activities again after intensively conducting missile tests between September and October last year.

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