North Korea Fires Missile Over Japan Triggering Warnings

A North Korean missile passed over Japan early on Tuesday morning, local time. It broke into three pieces and fell into the waters 1,180 kilometers east (about 730 miles) of Japan's northern Hokkaido Island, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said North Korea's "outrageous act of firing a missile over our country is an unprecedented, serious and grave threat and greatly damages the regional peace and security," while Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga called the firing of the missile a clear violation of United Nations resolutions. Abe said Japan was seeking an urgent meeting at the UN to strengthen measures against Pyongyang.

South Korea's military said the projectile was fired from the Sunan region near the North Korean capital of Pyongyang just before 6 a.m. (2100 UTC Monday). It did not try to shoot the missile down. The Foreign Ministry in Seoul condemned the launch: "We will respond strongly based on our steadfast alliance with the United States if North Korea continues nuclear and missile provocations."

Japan's government had warned people in the north of the country via the J-Alert system, interrupting radio and TV programs to advise that they take precautions. The island nation's military is currently practicing deploying anti-missile batteries at three US bases in Japan. Earlier Monday, South Korean officials had warned of signs that Pyongyang was preparing for another weapons test.


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