Details of the launch are being analysed by the South Korean and US militaries
North Korea fired an unidentified missile eastward from the Sunan district in its capital, Pyongyang, South Korea’s military said.
The South Korean and US militaries were analysing details of the launch, South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said.
Japan’s public broadcaster NHK said the missile passed over the northern island of Hokkaido and landed in the Pacific about 2,000 km east of Japan. The government said there was no danger to people or shipping from missile debris.
South Korea’s presidential Blue House has called an urgent meeting of its national security council.
The launch comes a day after Pyongyang threatened to sink Japan and reduce the United States to “ashes and darkness” for supporting a UN security council resolution imposing new sanctions against it for its 3 September nuclear test.
North Korea previously launched a ballistic missile from Sunan on 29 August which flew over Japan’s Hokkaido island and landed in the Pacific waters.
Earlier on Thursday the US general who oversees America’s nuclear forces said he was making the assumption that North Korea did in fact test a hydrogen bomb on 3 September crossing a key threshold in its weapons development efforts.
Although Pyongyang immediately claimed that it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, the US had previously declined to characterise it.
Air Force Gen John Hyten, head of the US military’s strategic command, however, said he had a responsibility, as a military officer responsible for responding to the test, to assume that it was a hydrogen bomb based on the size of the blast.
“I’m assuming it was a hydrogen bomb. I have to make that assumption as a military officer,” Hyten told a small group of reporters who were accompanying defence secretary Jim Mattie on a trip to Hyten’s headquarters in Nebraska.

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