Japan Defense Ministry: N.Korea aims at launching satellite

Japanese Defense Ministry has announced that North Korea launched a projectile using ballistic missile technology on Tuesday, aimed at launching a satellite. The ministry says the satellite's insertion into Earth orbit has not been confirmed. It is currently analyzing detailed information, including whether the launch was successful.

According to the ministry, a projectile using ballistic missile technology was launched at around 10:43 p.m., local time, southward from Tongchang-ri, where North Korea's Sohae Satellite Launching Station is located in the country's northwest.

The ministry says the projectile was split into multiple stages. It says that one of them fell into the East China Sea outside a navigational warning area announced by North Korea. The location is about 350 kilometers west of the Korean Peninsula.

The ministry also says another stage split from the projectile as it flew over the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa and splashed into the Pacific Ocean, about 1,200 kilometers southwest of Okinotorishima Island on around 10:57 p.m. It says this part fell within the navigational warning area.

North Korea failed to launch a military reconnaissance satellite in May and August.