People watch a TV screen about North Korea’s missile launch at a train station in Seoul, South Korea, on Wednesday. AP
The launch, the North’s 14th round of weapons firing this year, also came six days before a new conservative South Korean president takes office for a single five-year term.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the missile was fired from the North’s capital region and flew to the waters off its eastern coast. It said the South Korean military is monitoring possible additional weapons launches by North Korea.
Japan’s Defence Ministry said North Korea has fired a possible ballistic missile without providing further details. The Japanese Coast Guard urged vessels traveling off Japanese coasts to stay away from any possible fragments.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a photo session with the officers and soldiers. AP
Japan’s government set up an emergency task force to deal with the missile launch, and noted that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, currently in Rome for talks with Italian officials, instructed officials to do utmost for an emergency and to protect the safety of the people as well as vessels and aircraft around Japan.
Observers say North Korea’s unusually fast pace in weapons testing this year underscores its dual goal of advancing its missile programs and applying pressure on Washington over a deepening freeze in nuclear negotiations. They say Kim eventually aims to use his expanded arsenal to win an international recognition of North Korea as a nuclear state that he believes would help force the United States to relax international economic sanctions on the North.
One of the North Korean missiles tested recently was an intercontinental ballistic missile potentially capable of reaching the entirety of the American homeland. That missile's launch broke Kim's self-imposed 2018 moratorium on big weapons tests.
There are signs that the North is also preparing for a nuclear test at its remote northeastern testing facility. If made, the atomic bomb test explosion by North Korea would be the seventh of its kind and the first since 2017.
The influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called the South Korean defence minister a "scum-like guy” for talking about preemptive strikes on the North, warning on Sunday that the South may face "a serious threat.”
The launches are the latest in a series of North Korean weapons tests in recent months that have raised tensions in the region. They came a day after Pyongyang fired more than 20 missiles, the most it has fired in a single day ever.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country aimed to have the world's most powerful nuclear force as he celebrated the launch of its newest intercontinental ballistic missile at a ceremony with his young daughter.
Neither president's approach has led to a major breakthrough, however, and North Korea has resumed testing its largest intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), while intelligence reports suggest it is preparing for a new nuclear test.
The report said young villagers from Myanmar were being flown to its Delhi hospital and enticed to sell their kidneys to rich Burmese patients. Apollo Hospitals did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
The fire started at a furniture store and quickly engulfed other shops on the ground floor of the building known as Ayesha Manzil, said Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab. He said firefighters doused the flames after hectic efforts.
The National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) has warned of fog formation that will affect the horizontal visibility, advising road users and motorists to exercise caution and abide by traffic instructions.
The PTI chief appealed last year in the IHC against the ECP finding that he had unlawfully sold state gifts. However, in January, Imran sought to withdraw that appeal so that another appeal at the Lahore High Court could proceed.