S.Korea says DPRK fires projectile, believes it is ICBM test

SEOUL, March 24 (Xinhua) - The South Korean presidential Blue House said Thursday that it believes the projectile launch by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) earlier in the day was an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test.

A woman walks along a sidewalk past a TV displaying a news program on North Korea's missile launch Thursday, March 24, 2022, in Tokyo. (Photo: AP)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in convened an emergency meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) over the DPRK's projectile launch, which was attended by chief presidential secretary, top aide to Moon for security affairs, intelligence agency chief, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and ministers of defense, foreign affairs and unification.

During the meeting, Moon strongly denounced the DPRK move, saying it poses serious threats to the Korean Peninsula, the region and the international community.

Moon ordered officials to thoroughly devise all countermeasures in close cooperation with relevant countries and the international community, based on the firm South Korea-U.S. alliance.

The South Korean president urged Pyongyang to immediately stop such acts, saying they create tensions, and called on Pyongyang to rapidly return to the path of diplomatic solutions through dialogue concerning the Korean Peninsula issue.

Earlier in the day, South Korea's JCS said in a statement that the DPRK fired an unidentified projectile into eastern waters without mentioning further details.

According to the South Korean military, it marked the 12th launch of missiles and projectiles by the DPRK this year.

On Sunday, the South Korean military said the DPRK fired four shots from multiple rocket launchers off its west coast.

South Korea has also said the DPRK tested a new ICBM system on Feb. 27 and March 5, but the DPRK said those were the reconnaissance satellite development tests.