Leader Kim Jong Un is in Russia for talks with President Vladimir Putin that are expected to focus on arms sales.
North Korea has fired at least one “unidentified ballistic missile” off its east coast, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
There were no immediate details on Wednesday’s launch with the JCS saying it needed further analysis.
Japan’s Coast Guard, meanwhile, said two missiles might have been launched and that they appeared to have fallen into the sea.
The launch comes with leader Kim Jong Un in Russia for talks with President Vladimir Putin where arms sales are said to be high on the agenda. A number of senior military officials were pictured accompanying Kim on his trip.
“Fascinating: a launch without Kim Jong (Un) in the country. A first,” US-based security analyst Ankit Panda wrote on X, the platform previously known as Twitter.
North Korea has carried out numerous missile tests this year in breach of United Nations’ sanctions that were imposed over its nuclear missiles programme in 2017. There have been more than 100 missile launches since the start of 2022.
Pyongyang fired two short-range ballistic missiles on August 30, while Kim last week officiated at the launch of the country’s first ‘tactical nuclear attack‘ submarine, the Hero Kim Kun Ok.