Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said the weapon, which reached an altitude of 6,000km (3,730 miles), was capable of travelling as far as 15,000km (9,320 miles), giving it the range to reach the mainland of the United States, Aljazeera reported.
The test missile travelled 1,000km (622 miles) on a lofted trajectory, and landed about 200km (124 miles) west of Oshima-Oshima Island in the northern prefecture of Hokkaido, according to Japanese officials.
“We naturally lodged a strong protest against North Korea, which has repeated its provocations with unprecedented frequency,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters in Thailand, where he is attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting. His remarks were televised live in Japan.
“We have told (Pyongyang) that we absolutely cannot tolerate such actions.”
South Korea’s defense ministry also described the missile as a probable ICBM, which is designed to carry a nuclear warhead, and said it was launched at about 10.15am (01:15 GMT).
The South’s President Yoon Suk-yeol ordered officials to push for strong sanctions during an emergency national security council meeting on Friday.
North Korea has this year carried out an unprecedented number of ballistic missile tests, which are banned under the resolutions imposed over Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear weapons programs, and there are concerns it may soon carry out its first nuclear test since 2017.
After a meeting last week on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Cambodia, leaders of Japan, South Korea and the U.S. warned Pyongyang against conducting such a test, with U.S. President Joe Biden reiterating that Washington’s commitment to defend Seoul and Tokyo was “backed by the full range of capabilities, including nuclear”.
The leaders, including Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol also “strongly condemned” North Korea’s “unprecedented number of ballistic missile launches” and pledged to “forge still-closer trilateral links, in the security realm and beyond”.
On Thursday, North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile as its foreign minister, Choe Son Hui, warned of “fiercer military responses” to U.S. moves to boost its military presence in the region, saying Washington was taking a “gamble it will regret”.
In a statement carried by state media, Choe condemned a Sunday trilateral summit of Japan, South Korea and the U.S. during which the countries’ leaders criticized Pyongyang’s weapons tests and pledged greater security cooperation.