The White House urged Pyongyang to refrain from further "provocations" on Tuesday after North Korea fired what South Korea described as a submarine-launched ballistic missile.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the United States remained open to engaging diplomatically with North Korea over its weapons programs, a prospect that Pyongyang so far has rejected.
The launch of the missile into the sea came hours after the US reaffirmed an offer to resume talks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. It underscored how North Korea has continued to expand its military capabilities during the pause in diplomacy.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement it detected that North Korea fired one short-range missile it believed was a submarine-launched ballistic missile from waters near the eastern port of Sinpo, and that the South Korean and US militaries were closely analyzing the launch.
The South Korean military said the launch was made at sea, but it didn’t say whether it was fired from a vessel underwater or another launch platform above the sea’s surface.
Japan’s military said its initial analysis suggested that North Korea fired two ballistic missiles. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said officials were examining whether they were submarine-launched.