The US detected a ballistic missile launch out of North Korea at approximately 10:45 am. on Friday, the Pentagon confirmed to CNN.
They are assessing the launch and will have more soon.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Japanese broadcaster NHK: “I have received the first report that North Korea again launched a missile and it possibly landed inside the exclusive economic zone.”
The US believes that North Korea will be able to launch a reliable nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by early 2018, a US official familiar with the latest intelligence assessment confirmed to CNN Wednesday.
That would be an acceleration of two years from previous estimates that put Pyongyang three to five years from fully developing long-range missile capabilities.
The official clarified to CNN that while North Korea can currently get a missile “off the ground,” there are still a lot of undetermined variables about guidance, re-entry and the ability to hit a specific target.
Earlier this month, the State Department announced that it planned to prohibit Americans from traveling to North Korea following the death of an American student.
Officials told the Associated Press that the ban is being put in place because of “mounting concerns” about “the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention under North Korea’s system of law enforcement.”