North Korea has launched what could be a ballistic missile, Japan’s Coast Guard said early on Tuesday.
South Korea’s military said North Korea had fired an unidentified projectile off the east coast on Tuesday.
Last week, North Korea test fired a “hypersonic missile” that successfully hit a target, state news agency KCNA reported, as the country pursues new military capabilities amid stalled denuclearisation talks.
The launch on 5 January was the first by North Korea since October last year and comes at a precarious time for the North Korean regime.
The country is battling food shortages and an economic crisis stemming from the long closure of its border with China during the coronavirus pandemic, while there are no signs of a resurrection of long-stalled nuclear talks with Washington.
North Korea first tested a hypersonic missile in September, joining a race headed by major military powers to deploy the advanced weapons system.
Unlike ballistic missiles that fly into outer space before returning on steep trajectories, hypersonic weapons fly towards targets at lower altitudes and can achieve more than five times the speed of sound – or about 6,200 km per hour (3,850 mph).