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North Korea launches ballistic missile after pause

The last North Korean missile launched before today's report was fired over Japan on Sept. 15.

TOKYO – North Korea launched a missile early Wednesday morning, South Korea's joint chiefs of staff said.

This comes after more than two months without a missile launch in a year that has been marked by big advances and a steady salvo of launches, a pause that some hoped could allow diplomatic efforts to gain traction.

Wednesday's missile was launched from Pyongan province and fired to the east, South Korea's joint chiefs said, according to the Yonhap News Agency. The military was still working to ascertain what kind of missile it was.

North Korea last fired a missile on Sept. 15, sending it over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. It was the second launch over Japan in less than three weeks and came less than two weeks after North Korea exploded what was widely believed to be a hydrogen bomb.

In a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations at the end of last month, Joseph Yun, the State Department's special representative for North Korea policy, said that if North Korea went 60 days without testing a missile or a nuclear weapon, it could be a sign that Pyongyang was open to dialogue.