North Korea launched a ballistic missile over Japan for the first time in five years on Tuesday, prompting a warning for residents to take cover and a temporary suspension of train operations in northern Japan.
The Japanese government warned citizens to take cover as the missile appeared to have flown over and past its territory before falling into the Pacific Ocean. It said it did not use any defence measures to destroy the missile, which was the first to fly over or past Japan from North Korea since 2017.
“North Korea's series of actions, including its repeated ballistic missile launches, threatens the peace and security of Japan, the region, and the international community, and poses a serious challenge to the entire international community, including Japan,” Japan's top government spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno, said in a brief news conference.
TV Asahi, citing an unnamed government source, said North Korea might have fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and it fell into the sea some 3,000 km (1,860 miles) from Japan. The test prompted East Japan Railway Co to suspend its train operations in the northern regions, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported.
The latest launch was Pyongyang's fifth in 10 days, amid military muscle-flexing by the United States and South Korea, which conducted trilateral anti-submarine exercises last week with Japanese naval forces.