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US briefly halts some flights after second North Korea missile launch in days

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Agency Report

The United States briefly halted some flights on its west coast after North Korea test-launched a ballistic missile, its second weapons test in less than a week, officials said Tuesday.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revealed it had “temporarily paused departures at some airports along the West Coast” on Monday evening local time after the launch, which South Korea’s military warned showed clear signs of “progress” from last week’s test.

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The launch came as the UN Security Council met in New York to discuss last week’s test of what Pyongyang called a hypersonic missile, though Seoul has cast doubt on that claim.

But the South Korean military said the “suspected ballistic missile” launched Tuesday Korean time had reached hypersonic speeds.

In the decade since leader Kim Jong Un took power, North Korea has seen rapid advances in its military technology at the cost of international sanctions.

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Tuesday’s missile landed outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone. While there were no immediate reports of damage, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called the launch “extremely regrettable”.

The United States condemned what it called a “ballistic missile launch”, and reaffirmed its commitment to defend both South Korea and Japan, with the FAA saying its flight halt lasted “less than 15 minutes.”

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