North Korea on Monday test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile into the waters off Japan in what has become its second launch in as many days.
The projectile, which has the capability of traveling more than 9,300 miles and reaching the mainland U.S., flew 73 minutes before landing in an area west of the Japanese island of Hokkaido, Reuters reported, citing Japan’s Defense Ministry and Parliamentary Vice Minister of Defense Shingo Miyake.
South Korea’s military said the North Korean missile was launched on an elevated angle in an apparent attempt to avoid neighboring countries. Japanese lawmaker Masahisa Sato, citing Japan’s Defense Ministry, also said the missile rose as high as 3,730 miles.
The launch comes after North Korea launched a short-range ballistic missile into the sea on Sunday, South Korea said, with Pyongyang blaming the U.S. for escalating military tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
That missile – like Monday’s launch — was fired off North Korea’s east coast near its capital of Pyongyang and flew 354 miles before landing in the sea.
South Korea criticized the Sunday launch as a “clear violation” of U.N. Security Council resolutions that have banned the North from using ballistic technologies.
Its National Security Council issued a similar warning on Monday, describing the second test as involving a solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile, according to Reuters.
North Korea’s Defense Ministry issued a statement shortly after Sunday’s launch but did not mention the ballistic missile.
Instead, the ministry criticized the U.S. for what it called a “reckless military threat” that was destabilizing the region, referring to the U.S. deployment of military assets, including strategic bombers and nuclear-powered submarines, to South Korea.
“The armed forces of the DPRK will thoroughly neutralize the U.S. and its vassal forces’ attempt to ignite a nuclear war and thus reliably ensure peace and security in the Korean peninsula,” a ministry spokesman said in a statement obtained by Reuters.
Hours before North Korea launched the first missile, a joint statement from the U.S. and South Korea warned Pyongyang that “[a]ny nuclear attack by North Korea against the United States or its allies is unacceptable and will result in the end of the Kim regime.”
“The U.S. side reiterated that any nuclear attack by the DPRK against the ROK will be met with a swift, overwhelming, and decisive response,” the statement added.
Fox News’ Stephen Sorace and the Associated Press contributed to this report.