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North Korea fires suspected ballistic missile at sea


North Korea has fired at least one suspected ballistic missile into waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula, according to South Korean and Japanese officials.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, Japan’s Defense Ministry and the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office have all said a possible ballistic missile launch has been detected.

The Japan Coast Guard sent out an alert to vessels at 6:56 a.m. local time Sunday (5:56 p.m. EST Saturday).

“Vessels are advised to pay attention to additional information and if they see any falling objects, please do not approach them and report the relevant information to the Japanese Coast Guard,” he said.

In an update 15 minutes later, he said the missile would have landed at sea.

The apparent launch of the missile comes after the strike group from the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier arrived in the southeastern port city of Busan in South Korea on Friday.

The US and South Korean navies are expected to conduct combined exercises this month.

The launch also comes shortly before US Vice President Kamala Harris is due to visit Japan and South Korea.

She will first stop in Tokyo to attend the state funeral of slain former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before heading to South Korea.

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