All networks reported at noon that North Korea’s state media announced this morning that North Korea test-fired two “newly developed new-type tactical guided projectiles” on Thursday. According to the state media, the improved weapon system can carry a warhead that weighs 2.5 tons and successfully hit a target in waters 600 km east of the Korean Peninsula. The networks said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was apparently not present for the launch. NHK said that while the UNSC sanctions committee is expected to convene an emergency meeting on Friday evening Japan time, it remains unclear whether the nations will be able to reach a consensus on a response to the launch as China and Russia have been calling for the relaxation of sanctions.
Several networks quoted Defense Minister Kishi as telling reporters this morning that the missiles were “a new type of ballistic missile that had never been fired before.” Kishi also reportedly said his ministry is continuing to analyze information on the missiles. He also disclosed that director-general-level defense officials of Japan and the U.S. held a meeting on Thursday and shared the view that North Korea’s ballistic missile launches threaten the peace and stability of the international community and agreed on close trilateral cooperation between Japan, the U.S., and South Korea.