North Korea has fired what is believed to be its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in more than four years as Western leaders gather in Brussels for a security summit. The suspected ICBM flew to an altitude of 6,000 kilometers (3,728 miles) and to a distance of 1,080 kilometers (671 miles) with a flight time of 71 minutes before splashing down in waters off Japan's western coast on Thursday, according to Japan's Defense Ministry.
Thursday's launch is North Korea's 11th of the year, including one on March 16 which is presumed to have failed. Analysts said the test could be the longest-range missile yet fired by North Korea, exceeding its last ICBM launch in November 2017.
Japan's Vice Defense Minister Makoto Oniki told reporters Thursday the missile's altitude would suggest it is a "new type of ICBM," a potential sign North Korea is closer to developing weapons capable of targeting the United States. The US joined allies South Korea and Japan in strongly condemning the launch Thursday and called on North Korea to refrain from further destabilizing acts.