North Korea fired a missile over its territory on Tuesday (4) morning local time, the Japanese government said. South Korean officials have confirmed this information.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno condemned the shooting, saying “the North’s continued actions are a serious challenge to international peace.”
“The missile is believed to have landed in the Pacific Ocean at 7:29 a.m.,” the Japanese cabinet announced on Twitter. It may have been an intercontinental ballistic missile that fell into the sea about 3,000 km off the coast of Japan.
The North Korean test prompted an unusual warning from the Japanese government to seek asylum for some residents.
“It appears that North Korea has launched a missile. Please evacuate to underground buildings or shelters,” the government warned at 7:29 a.m. (7:29 p.m. GMT) on Tuesday.
Japan’s national broadcaster NHK said the warning was in effect for the country’s two northernmost regions.
South Korean and US officials have been warning for months that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is preparing to conduct another nuclear test. Both sources believe this could happen after the next Communist Party congress in China on October 16.
North Korea has faced several UN sanctions for its weapons programs. Targets economic sanctions, usually seeking to maximize the geopolitical impact of its experiments at an opportune moment.
On Saturday morning, North Korea fired an unspecified ballistic missile towards its east coast. It was Pyongyang’s fourth shot in a week.
The launches came after the U.S. and South Korea held the Ulchi Freedom Shield, the largest joint military exercise in nearly five years, and after U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris visited Seoul last week.
Japan’s coast guard suspects at least two previous ballistic missile tests were carried out by Pyongyang. North Korea fired missiles before and after Harris visited South Korea.
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