BEIJING, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Wednesday fired a ballistic missile, two weeks after three short-range ballistic missiles were test-fired in a show of force against the decision by Seoul and Washington to deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile shield in South Korea.
The missile was launched eastward from South Hwanghae province at about 7:50 a.m. local time (2320 GMT Tuesday), said the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff on Wednesday.
South Korea's Yonhap News Agency cited a government official as saying that the missile appeared to be a Rodong-type medium-range missile that flew about 1,000 km.
The South Korean Defense Ministry was not immediately available for comment about the type of missile that was fired.
The launch came after the DPRK test-fired two medium-range Rodong ballistic missiles and one shorter-range Scud missile on July 19 in an apparent protest against the decision to deploy THAAD system on South Korean soil.
On July 8, South Korea and the United States abruptly announced an agreement to deploy one THAAD battery by the end of next year. Five days later, the deployment site was designated at Seongju county, some 250 km southeast of Seoul.
One day after the announcement, Pyongyang test-fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile off its east coast. In times of military conflict, it is hard to detect and track such missiles with THAAD's X-band radar.
THAAD is incapable of intercepting Rodong and Scud missiles targeting South Korea as the DPRK missiles fly at an altitude of 20-30 km. The THAAD system is designed to shoot down missiles at a much higher altitude of 40-150 km.
The DPRK military has threatened to take "physical measures" against THAAD deployment.
China and Russia are strongly opposed to the THAAD deployment in South Korea as it raises tensions in Northeast Asia.
After the latest DPRK missile launch, Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said on Wednesday that the DPRK missile launch was a "serious threat" to Japan's security and ordered the nation's Self-Defense Forces to be on high alert.
Jeong Se-hyun, a former South Korean unification minister, told Xinhua on Monday that the agreement on THAAD deployment has cost South Korea much of its diplomatic clout in Northeast Asia, which it needs to deal with the DPRK's nuclear issue.