WASHINGTON-- An initial assessment indicates that North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Tuesday, the Pentagon said.
"The U.S. Department of Defense detected and tracked a single North Korea missile launch today at about 1:17 p.m. EDT," Pentagon spokesman Col. Robert Manning said in a statement. "Initial assessment indicates that this missile was an intercontinental ballistic missile."
If confirmed, it would be North Korea's third ICBM launch following two in July.
Tuesday's missile was launched from Sain Ni, North Korea, and flew about 1,000 kilometers before falling into the East Sea inside Japan's exclusive economic zone, according to Manning.
It did not pose a threat to North America, its territories or its allies, he said, citing the North American Aerospace Defense Command.
"Our commitment to the defense of our allies, including the Republic of Korea and Japan, in the face of these threats, remains ironclad," he added. "We remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies from any attack or provocation."
The first two ICBM launches triggered fresh U.N. Security Council sanctions against the communist regime and led to an exchange of heated rhetoric between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Still, the regime carried out its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in September, heightening concerns of a potential military conflict on the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea stopped provocations after launching an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan on Sept. 15, raising hopes there could be an opening for talks between Washington and Pyongyang.
The regime has accelerated its pursuit of a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the American mainland, claiming it is only meant to deter U.S. hostility.
Source: Yonhap News Agency