North Korea's suspected ICBM likely had 15,000 km range

Japan's defense ministry says the suspected intercontinental ballistic missile fired by North Korea on Thursday likely had the capacity to travel as far as 15,000 kilometers. That is enough to reach the entire US mainland.

The ministry says the missile was launched at around 7 a.m., local time, near Pyongyang. It says the missile flew for about 70 minutes and traveled as far as 1,000 kilometers, reaching an altitude of 6,000 kilometers.

There is a high possibility that it was what's known as a lofted missile.

The ministry estimates that it fell in the Sea of Japan at around 8:18 a.m. The area is about 200 kilometers west of Oshima-oshima Island in Hokkaido Prefecture.

South Korea's National Security Council met after the launch. President Yoon Suk-yeol ordered the joint exercises with the US that began on Monday to continue.

It was the North's twelfth launch of an ICBM with a range at least 5,500 kilometers.

Seoul says Pyongyang also launched two short-range ballistic missiles toward the Sea of Japan on Tuesday morning.

Pyongyang said on Sunday the ruling Workers' Party's Central Military Commission has taken steps to make more effective, powerful and offensive use of its war deterrent.