North Korea fires an unidentified projectile into the waters off the Korean Peninsula. South Korea reports

The Japanese government stated in a tweet that the projectile could have been a ballistic missile.

According to Japan Coast Guard, the potential ballistic missile had already been lost in the sea at 8:23 AM local time. It urged all vessels that transit the area to keep an eye out for any updates.

Japan’s government confirmed that ships and aircraft are safe.

Japan’s Prime Minster Fumio Kimio Kishida stated to reporters Wednesday, “It is very regrettable that North Korea has continued to launch missiles depuis last year.”

“The government will continue to increase vigilance.

Kishida stated that the government was still reviewing information regarding the projectile’s flight path and potential fall.

It is the first projectile launch since Pyongyang successfully tested-fired a new submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM), last October.

After weeks of tensions in the Korean Peninsula that saw increased cooperation between Pyongyang & Seoul, and a rise in military brinksmanship. The country also intensified its weapons testing program last year, including the launch, in late September, of what it claimed was an advanced hypersonic weapon.

International law prohibits Pyongyang from testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Wednesday’s launch follows a North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s year-end speech, in which he admitted that the country has a “food crisis”. The address closed a five day meeting of the Korean Worker’s Party.

Kim also spoke highly of military achievements made in his tenth year as president, but he did not mention South Korea or the US. He only briefly mentioned policy directions for inter-Korean relations.

Leif Eric Easley, a professor from Ewha University Seoul, stated that North Korea was launching a projectile to signal that neither the Omicron version nor domestic food scarcity will stop its aggressive missile-development.

“This test proves the Kim regime’s indifference to domestic suffering. “Pyongyang is not welcoming humanitarian assistance. Instead, he is violating UN Security Council resolutions and that should be grounds for further economic sanctions,” he stated.