The Pentagon says initial assessments show a missile launched by North Korea was an intercontinental ballistic missile, which would make it the third ICBM tested by North Korea. An initial analysis by David Wright, a missile expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists, shows that the missile has the farthest range of any projectile yet tested by North Korea — and specifically that it would be capable of reaching the entire continental United States.
The test early on Wednesday was North Korea's first missile launch since mid-September, when Pyongyang sent a missile over Japan. The latest missile splashed down in the Sea of Japan within Japan's exclusive economic zone, the Pentagon says. That means that unlike the previous missile, this one did not pass over Japan. The Pentagon also says the missile posed no threat to U.S. territories.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs Of Staff confirmed that a missile was launched around 3:17 a.m. local time and said the flight is being analyzed, Yonhap reports. In response to the launch, South Korea's military staged a "precision strike" missile exercise of its own, beginning less than 10 minutes after the North Korean launch began, according to Yonhap. North Korea has been working on long-range missiles for years.