Skip to Content Facebook Feature Image

Ippei Mizuhara, ex-interpreter for MLB star Shohei Ohtani, pleads not guilty as a formality

News

Ippei Mizuhara, ex-interpreter for MLB star Shohei Ohtani, pleads not guilty as a formality
News

News

Ippei Mizuhara, ex-interpreter for MLB star Shohei Ohtani, pleads not guilty as a formality

2024-05-15 06:35 Last Updated At:06:40

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case.

Prosecutors say Ippei Mizuhara stole nearly $17 million from Ohtani to pay off sports gambling debts during a yearslong scheme, at times impersonating Ohtani to bankers, and exploited his personal and professional relationship with the two-way player. Mizuhara signed a plea agreement that detailed the allegations on May 5, and prosecutors announced it several days later.

More Images
Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case.

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

In this courtroom sketch, Ippei Mizuhara, left, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani appears in federal court in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (Bill Robles via AP)

In this courtroom sketch, Ippei Mizuhara, left, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani appears in federal court in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (Bill Robles via AP)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, gets into a vehicle following his arraignment at federal court, Tuesday, May 14, 2024 in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, gets into a vehicle following his arraignment at federal court, Tuesday, May 14, 2024 in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

In this courtroom sketch, Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani appears in federal court in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (Bill Robles via AP)

In this courtroom sketch, Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani appears in federal court in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (Bill Robles via AP)

Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024 in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024 in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024 in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024 in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

FILE - Interpreter Ippei Mizuhara, left, stands behind Japanese baseball star Shohei Ohtani, front right, and translates during an interview at Dodger Stadium, Feb. 3, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara, the former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Ohtani, is expected to plead not guilty Tuesday, May 14, 2024, to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a deal he has negotiated with federal prosecutors in a sports betting case. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

FILE - Interpreter Ippei Mizuhara, left, stands behind Japanese baseball star Shohei Ohtani, front right, and translates during an interview at Dodger Stadium, Feb. 3, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara, the former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Ohtani, is expected to plead not guilty Tuesday, May 14, 2024, to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a deal he has negotiated with federal prosecutors in a sports betting case. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

FILE - Interpreter Ippei Mizuhara listens during a baseball news conference at Dodger Stadium, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara, the former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani, is expected to plead not guilty Tuesday, May 14, 2024, to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a deal he has negotiated with federal prosecutors in a sports betting case. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

FILE - Interpreter Ippei Mizuhara listens during a baseball news conference at Dodger Stadium, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara, the former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani, is expected to plead not guilty Tuesday, May 14, 2024, to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a deal he has negotiated with federal prosecutors in a sports betting case. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

During his arraignment Tuesday in federal court in Los Angeles, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jean P. Rosenbluth asked Mizuhara to enter a plea to one count of bank fraud and one count of subscribing to a false tax return. The expected not-guilty plea was a procedural step as the case moves forward, even though he has already agreed to the plea deal.

Defense attorney Michael G. Freedman said Mizuhara planned to plead guilty in the future. In the hallway before the hearing, Freedman said they would not comment Tuesday.

Members of the media were not allowed inside the main courtroom and instead were seated in an audio-only overflow room. The Associated Press and other outlets filed a complaint with the court clerk and chief district judge.

Mizuhara only spoke to answer the judge’s questions, with responses like “yes, ma’am” when asked whether he understood the proceedings.

There was no evidence Ohtani was involved in or aware of Mizuhara’s gambling, and the player is cooperating with investigators, authorities said.

Mizuhara's plea agreement says he will be required to pay Ohtani restitution that could total nearly $17 million, as well as more than $1 million to the IRS. Those amounts could change prior to sentencing. The bank fraud charge carries a maximum of 30 years in federal prison, and the false tax return charge carries a sentence of up to three years in federal prison.

Mizuhara’s winning bets totaled over $142 million, which he deposited in his own bank account and not Ohtani’s. But his losing bets were around $183 million, a net loss of nearly $41 million. He did not wager on baseball.

He is free on an unsecured $25,000 bond, colloquially known as a signature bond, meaning he did not have to put up any cash or collateral to be freed. If he violates the bond conditions — which include a requirement to undergo gambling addiction treatment — he will be on the hook for $25,000.

The judge set a status conference for June 14.

The Los Angeles Times and ESPN broke the news of the prosecution in late March, prompting the Dodgers to fire the interpreter and the MLB to open its own investigation.

MLB rules prohibit players and team employees from wagering on baseball, even legally. MLB also bans betting on other sports with illegal or offshore bookmakers.

Ohtani has sought to focus on the field as the case winds through the courts. Hours after his ex-interpreter first appeared in court in April, he hit his 175th home run in MLB — tying Hideki Matsui for the most by a Japan-born player — during the Dodgers’ 8-7 loss to the San Diego Padres in 11 innings.

This story has been updated to correct the date of Mizuhara’s status conference to June 14.

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

In this courtroom sketch, Ippei Mizuhara, left, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani appears in federal court in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (Bill Robles via AP)

In this courtroom sketch, Ippei Mizuhara, left, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani appears in federal court in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (Bill Robles via AP)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, gets into a vehicle following his arraignment at federal court, Tuesday, May 14, 2024 in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, gets into a vehicle following his arraignment at federal court, Tuesday, May 14, 2024 in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

In this courtroom sketch, Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani appears in federal court in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (Bill Robles via AP)

In this courtroom sketch, Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani appears in federal court in Los Angeles, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (Bill Robles via AP)

Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024 in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024 in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Ippei Mizuhara, center, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Eric Thayer)

Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024 in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Ippei Mizuhara, the former longtime interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, leaves federal court following his arraignment, Tuesday, May 14, 2024 in Los Angeles. Mizuhara pleaded not guilty Tuesday to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a plea deal he’s negotiated with federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging sports betting case. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

FILE - Interpreter Ippei Mizuhara, left, stands behind Japanese baseball star Shohei Ohtani, front right, and translates during an interview at Dodger Stadium, Feb. 3, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara, the former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Ohtani, is expected to plead not guilty Tuesday, May 14, 2024, to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a deal he has negotiated with federal prosecutors in a sports betting case. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

FILE - Interpreter Ippei Mizuhara, left, stands behind Japanese baseball star Shohei Ohtani, front right, and translates during an interview at Dodger Stadium, Feb. 3, 2024, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara, the former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Ohtani, is expected to plead not guilty Tuesday, May 14, 2024, to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a deal he has negotiated with federal prosecutors in a sports betting case. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

FILE - Interpreter Ippei Mizuhara listens during a baseball news conference at Dodger Stadium, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara, the former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani, is expected to plead not guilty Tuesday, May 14, 2024, to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a deal he has negotiated with federal prosecutors in a sports betting case. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

FILE - Interpreter Ippei Mizuhara listens during a baseball news conference at Dodger Stadium, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023, in Los Angeles. Mizuhara, the former interpreter for Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani, is expected to plead not guilty Tuesday, May 14, 2024, to bank and tax fraud, a formality ahead of a deal he has negotiated with federal prosecutors in a sports betting case. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A North Korean ballistic missile test on Wednesday likely ended in failure, South Korea's military said, days after the North protested the recent regional deployment of a U.S. aircraft carrier for a new trilateral military drill with South Korea and Japan.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that North Korea launched a ballistic missile from its capital region around 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday. It said the missile was launched toward the North’s eastern waters, but the launch was suspected to have ended in failure.

South Korea's military didn’t immediately explain why it believes the North Korean missile launch failed. Japan’s Defense Ministry said earlier Wednesday that it also detected a suspected ballistic missile by North Korea.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported the North Korean missile flew about 250 kilometers (155 miles). Yonhap cited an unidentified South Korean military source as saying North Korea was believed to have tested a developmental hypersonic missile.

Japanese media reported the North Korean projectile fell outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

The North’s reported launch also came hours after South Korea said North Korea floated huge balloons likely carrying trash across the border for a second consecutive day.

North Korea has conducted a series of trash-carrying balloon launches toward South Korea since late May in what it calls a tit-for-tat response to South Korean activists flying political leaflets via their own balloons. On June 9, South Korea briefly restarted propaganda broadcasts from its border loudspeakers for the first time in years in response. South Korea's military said Monday said it was ready to turn on its loudspeakers again.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt arrived in South Korea on Saturday and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol boarded the carrier on Tuesday — the first sitting South Korean president to board a U.S. aircraft carrier since 1994.

Yoon told American and South Korean troops on the carrier that their countries’ alliance is the world’s greatest and can defeat any enemy. He said the U.S. carrier is to leave Wednesday for the South Korea-U.S.-Japan drill, dubbed “Freedom Edge.” The training is aimed at sharpening the countries’ combined response in various areas of operation, including air, sea and cyberspace.

North Korea’s vice defense minister, Kim Kang Il, on Monday called the U.S. aircraft carrier’s deployment “reckless” and “dangerous.” North Korea has previously called major U.S.-South Korean drills invasion rehearsals and reacted with missile tests.

South Korean officials said the carrier’s arrival is meant to help Seoul cope with North Korea’s intensifying nuclear threats and its advancing military partnerships with Russia.

During a summit in Pyongyang last week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a deal requiring each country to provide aid if attacked and vowed to boost other cooperation. Observers say the accord represents the strongest connection between the two countries since the end of the Cold War.

The United States and its partners believe North Korea has been providing Russia with much-needed conventional arms for its war in Ukraine in return for military and economic assistance.

North Korea’s reported missile launch is its first weapons demonstrations since Kim Jong Un on May 30 supervised the firing of nuclear-capable multiple rocket launchers to simulate a preemptive attack on South Korea. The drill came days after North Korea’s attempt to put its second spy satellite into orbit ended in failure, with its rocket carrying that satellite exploding in mid-air soon after liftoff.

Since 2022, North Korea has sharply increased the pace of weapons tests to increase its nuclear attack capabilities to cope with what it calls an deepening U.S. military threat. Foreign experts say North Korea eventually aims to use its larger nuclear arsenal to wrest greater concessions from the U.S. when diplomacy resumes.

_

Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, center, boards the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier at the South Korean naval base in Busan, South Korea, Tuesday, June 25, 2024 (South Korean Presidential Office/Yonhap via AP)

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, center, boards the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier at the South Korean naval base in Busan, South Korea, Tuesday, June 25, 2024 (South Korean Presidential Office/Yonhap via AP)

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, third from left, boards the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier at the South Korean naval base in Busan, South Korea, Tuesday, June 25, 2024 (South Korean Presidential Office/Yonhap via AP)

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, third from left, boards the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier at the South Korean naval base in Busan, South Korea, Tuesday, June 25, 2024 (South Korean Presidential Office/Yonhap via AP)

A news program broadcasts a file image of a missile launch by North Korea, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, June 26, 2024. North Korea fired a ballistic missile toward its eastern waters on Wednesday, South Korea's military said, in an apparent protest of the recent regional deployment of a U.S. aircraft carrier for a new trilateral military drill with South Korea and Japan. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

A news program broadcasts a file image of a missile launch by North Korea, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, June 26, 2024. North Korea fired a ballistic missile toward its eastern waters on Wednesday, South Korea's military said, in an apparent protest of the recent regional deployment of a U.S. aircraft carrier for a new trilateral military drill with South Korea and Japan. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

A visitor looks at the North Korean side from the unification observatory in Paju, South Korea, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. South Korea threatened Tuesday to restart anti-Pyongyang frontline propaganda broadcasts in the latest bout of Cold War-style campaigns between the rivals after North Korea resumed its trash-carrying balloon launches. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

A visitor looks at the North Korean side from the unification observatory in Paju, South Korea, Tuesday, June 25, 2024. South Korea threatened Tuesday to restart anti-Pyongyang frontline propaganda broadcasts in the latest bout of Cold War-style campaigns between the rivals after North Korea resumed its trash-carrying balloon launches. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Recommended Articles