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DPRK said to have launched ballistic missile

(Xinhua)    07:38, November 29, 2017

File photo provided by Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Feb. 13, 2017 shows a test firing of a surface-to-surface medium- and long-range ballistic missile Pukguksong-2 on Feb. 12, 2017. (Xinhua/KCNA)

WASHINGTON/SEOUL, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has launched a ballistic missile, the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) said.

Assessments from both the U.S. Defense Department and the ROK's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) showed that the missile was launched at 1:17 p.m. EDT Tuesday, or 3:17 a.m. Seoul time Wednesday (1817 GMT).

There was no official confirmation from the DPRK yet.

The U.S. Defense Department said that an initial assessment showed the missile was an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

The missile was launched from Sain Ni in the DPRK, and it traveled about 1,000 kilometers before splashing down into the sea of Japan, said Pentagon spokesman Robert Manning in a statement.

Meanwhile, the JCS said that "an unidentified ballistic missile" was launched from a site near Pyongsong in the DPRK's South Pyongan Province.

The ROK military conducted a "precision strike" missile launch in response, according to the JCS.

U.S. President Donald Trump had been briefed about the missile launch, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters.

"Diplomatic options remain viable and open, for now," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said after the reported launch of the missile.

The United States remains committed to finding a peaceful path to denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula, he said in a statement.

The latest missile launch from the DPRK came a week after the United States redesignated the DPRK as a "state sponsor of terrorism" and slapped a new round of sanctions against the country, which was seen by some experts as likely to escalate the ongoing confrontation between Pyongyang and Washington.

Last week, Chinese Foreign Ministry called for more efforts to ease tension on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and settle the issue through dialogue and consultation.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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