SEOUL: North Korea fired a cruise missile toward the Sea of Japan from around Sondok in the eastern province of South Hamgyong on July 4, the major South Korean daily Dong-A Ilbo reported Thursday.
The missile flew several hundred kilometers and fell into the sea, which sits between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, according to a Dong-A Ilbo report from Washington.
If the report is true, it was the first missile launch by North Korea since the country fired short-range cruise missiles in April.
A US government source told the newspaper that the latest firing is believed to be a development test for improving missile performance, explaining that the launch was intended to confirm the accuracy of the missile.
Given that July 4 is Independence Day in the United States, North Korea’s missile firing may be a warning to Washington, pundits said.
The South Korean military did not disclose information about the launch because it considered that the move was part of North Korea’s summer exercises and carried no important meaning, the newspaper quoted a military source as saying.
North Korea carried out a land-to-ship cruise missile test in June 2017. The country may have fired the same type of missile this time as it did in April this year, informed sources said.