North Korea confirmed a test of a powerful "new type" of long-range missile, state media reported Friday, with Japan's defense chief calling Thursday's launch a dramatic departure from previous tests.

Leader Kim Jong Un hailed the successful launch, saying his country was preparing to buckle down for the "inevitability of (a) long-standing confrontation with the U.S. imperialists."

The new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), dubbed the Hwasong-17, flew higher and for a longer duration than any of the missiles previously tested by North Korea, before splashing down in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) just 150 kilometers off the coast of Hokkaido.