Kim Jong Un inspects test of 'next-gen air defence system'

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis on

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis on"Face the Nation

According to the Yonhap New agency, the South Korean military detected a missile launch conducted by North Korea on Monday.

North Korea warned the US about its recent military drills with South Korea as well as its missile defense system, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD), installed in South Korea in April.

President Moon Jae-in of South Korea has called an emergency meeting of the National Security Council to assess the launch.

US authorities tracked the six-minute flight until it crashed into the Sea of Japan, the US Pacific Command said.

South Korea's military confirmed the report, saying "North Korea launched an unidentified projectile from a site in the vicinity of Wonsan in Gangwon Province at dawn today".

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said what appeared to be a North Korean ballistic missile fell within Japan's exclusive maritime economic zone.

"Japan absolutely can not tolerate North Korea's repeated provocative actions".

Notably, Monday's launch coincides with Memorial Day in the United States, a public holiday for remembering Americans who died while serving in the country's armed forces.

The country's state-run KCNA said that Kim Jong Un watched the test and that defects in the system have been fixed.

The report by state-run media came as the Communist country has increased the tempo of its nuclear weapons program, with eight ballistic missile tests so far this year - in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions banning them.

Suga, the Japanese cabinet secretary, said, "We can not tolerate such repeated actions from North Korea, and we have lodged a strong protest against North Korea, criticizing them in the strongest form".

North Korea has tested a number of ICBMs in recent months, however Christopher Johnson, a spokesman for the US Missile Defense Agency, said the US test of defensive capabilities was planned well in advance and was not drawn up in response to any recent developments.

"We will never tolerate North Korea's continued provocations that ignore repeated warnings by the worldwide community", Abe told reporters.

The North has been pushing to develop a wide range of weapon systems since early previous year at an unprecedented pace including a long-range missile capable of striking the mainland US.

Over the last few weeks, North Korea conducted several missile tests, with the latest conducted last week.

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