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(3rd LD) N. Korea fires ballistic missile over Japan: S. Korean military

All Headlines 07:24 August 29, 2017

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with flight data, NSC meeting, Pentagon's statement, other details)
By Lee Chi-dong and Lee Haye-ah

SEOUL, Aug. 29 (Yonhap) -- North Korea lobbed a ballistic missile over Japan on Tuesday, South Korea's military said.

The missile was fired eastward from the vicinity of Sunan in Pyongyang at around 5:57 a.m., according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

"It passed through the sky over Japan" and fell into the North Pacific Ocean, the JCS said.

It added the missile flew more than 2,700 kilometers at a maximum altitude of around 550 km.

The Pentagon confirmed that the North's missile flew over Japan's territory.

"We are still in the process of assessing this launch. North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America," Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Rob Manning said in a statement.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga described it as an "unprecedented grave threat."

South Korea's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae immediately convened a National Security Council (NSC) session to discuss the issue. President Moon Jae-in is presiding over the meeting, a Cheong Wa Dae official said.

The North's provocation is another slap in the face to Moon and U.S. President Donald Trump as they have sought to resume dialogue, and could bring tensions on the peninsula to a new high.

Last weekend, the North launched three projectiles that the allies determined were short-range ballistic missiles.

The latest missile launches marked an end to a monthlong hiatus in the Kim Jong-un regime's provocations, which U.S. officials described as "restraint."

Trump said last week the North's leader "is starting to respect us."

On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also said despite the North's firing of three short range missiles, "We're going to continue our peaceful pressure campaign, as I have described it, working with allies and working with China as well to see if we can bring the regime in Pyongyang to the negotiating table with a view to begin a dialogue on a different future for the Korean Peninsula and for North Korea."

The South Korean and U.S. militaries are presently carrying out their annual combined drills on the peninsula.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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