The country's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement that the DPRK's ballistic missile launch was in a blatant violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions and posed a grave threat to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the world.
According to the JCS initial assessment, the DPRK launched a long-range ballistic missile from Pyongsong in South Pyongan province in the western part of the DPRK at about 3:17 a.m. local time.
The missile flew eastward as high as 4,500 km before falling into waters around 960 km from the launch site. It was the highest-ever altitude, which any missile, tested by the DPRK, reached until now.
The DPRK's Korean Central Television reported that the country tested "Hwasong-15," which it described as a newly developed ICBM, as top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un signed the order of the launch the previous day.
Local media in South Korea citied U.S. missile experts as saying the missile can theoretically strike Washington D.C., some 11,000 km away from the Asian country, if the missile was fired at a normal angle rather than a lofted one.
Under the UN resolutions, Pyongyang is banned from testing any ballistic missile technology. The DPRK conducted another missile test-firing after launching an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) over Japan on Sept. 15.
The South Korean military strongly condemned the DPRK's missile launch, which it called a serious challenge to the South Korea-U.S. alliance, saying Pyongyang has rejected the international community's dialogue overtures.
It said combined forces of South Korea and the United States were closely monitoring the moves of the DPRK force, saying the militaries were always ready to conduct a precision strike against the origin of provocation on land, by sea and in the air.
South Korea's military test-fired short-range missiles in protest against the DPRK's resumed missile provocation. The missile tests came just six minutes after the DPRK's missile launch.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in was reportedly briefed on immediate signs of the DPRK's ballistic missile test-launch, and authorized the JCS chairman in advanced to conduct the precision strike exercise right after Pyongyang's launch.
According to the JCS, a joint "precision strike" missile drill was conducted by South Korea's army, navy and air force, mobilizing ballistic missiles from ground, an Aegis-equipped destroyer and a fighter jet which have a range of 300 km, 1,000 km and 57 km respectively.
President Moon held a telephone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump, according to the presidential Blue House of South Korea.
During the 20-minute phone talks beginning 8:30 a.m. local time, Moon and Trump strongly denounced the DPRK for its long-range ballistic missile provocation in defiance of the international society's repeated warnings and the tough, concerted pressure and sanctions under the UN Security Council resolutions.
The two presidents agreed to sternly deal with the DPRK's provocation in close cooperation with the international community, while making efforts to encourage Pyongyang to come to a dialogue table through continued pressure and sanctions.
President Moon convened a National Security Council (NSC) meeting at the Blue House and briefed on the advanced ballistic missile technology of the DPRK.