N.Korea appears to have launched ballistic missile

The Japanese government says North Korea launched what appears to be a ballistic missile on Thursday morning.

Officials say the projectile was launched shortly after 7 a.m., Japan time.

They believe the projectile fell outside Japan's exclusive economic zone and are calling on ships in the area to be on alert.

This is the first projectile to be fired by the North in nearly a year.

Officials say they are monitoring the situation closely.