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Japan, S Korea say Pyongyang conducts second suspected missile test in less than week

File photo shows test-firing of a new type submarine-launched ballistic missile in an undisclosed location in North Korea. (Photo by AFP)

North Korea has reportedly fired an "unidentified projectile" believed to a ballistic missile into the East Sea less than a week after announcing to have successfully tested a hypersonic missile.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff reported the launch in a statement on Tuesday, identifying its location as east of the Korean Peninsula.

Japan’s coast guard also confirmed the event, describing the projectile as a "ballistic missile-like object."

The projectile appeared to have landed outside of Japan's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the Kyodo news agency reported, citing government sources in Tokyo.

On Wednesday, the North said it had test-fired a hypersonic missile, which successfully hit a target in the first such launch of the year.

The US State Department reacted harshly to the launch, claiming the missile test violated multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions and "posed a threat to North Korea’s neighbors and the international community."

Tuesday launch came after six countries, including the United States and Japan, urged North Korea to cease what they called "destabilizing actions" ahead of a UN Security Council's closed-door meeting to discuss last week's test of Pyongyang's alleged hypersonic missile.

Throughout last year, nuclear-armed North Korea said it had successfully tested a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile, a long-range cruise missile, a train-launched weapon, and a hypersonic warhead.

The administration of US President Joe Biden alleges that the North has refused to respond to its appeals for talks.

Pyongyang says it is open to talks, but only if the United States and others drop "hostile policies" such as harsh sanctions and joint military drills off the Korean Peninsula.

Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump took unprecedented steps towards apparently fraternizing the North by initiating several rounds of dialog with it, and even walking a number of steps into the country alongside North Korea's leader.

However, Washington blew, what Pyongyang called, a “golden opportunity” at mending the situation by insisting too much on the North’s denuclearization.

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