First time since 1990s: Pyongyang fires missile over Japan

North Korea launched a missile early Tuesday morning that flew over the Japanese island of Hokkaido. Tokyo quickly responded by condemning the launch. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated that the launch presents "a serious threat" to his country.

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North Korea launched a missile early Tuesday morning that flew over Japan. This was the first time since 1998 that a North Korean missile has successfully flown over Japanese territory. The projectile, which traveled for about 2,700 kilometers, landed in the Pacific Ocean after it blew up into three pieces.

According to the South Korean Yonhap news agency, the type of missile has not been identified yet. The missile was fired from near the capital Pyongyang. According to a Japanese official, the missile flew for about 15 minutes.

North Korean missile Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Japan's government is claiming that the missile passed over the Hokkaido island. While a safety warning urging the residents of the island to find shelter was issued, the Japanese military did not attempt to shoot down the missile.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proclaimed that he will do everything in his power to protect his country. "The irresponsible action by North Korea is unprecedented, serious and constitutes a grave threat to our country," Abe added.

Safety warning urging the residents of the island to find shelter Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that Pyongyang's latest launch presents a threat to Tokyo and Japan will respond accordingly. "It appears that this ballistic launch passed over our territory," he said. "This is an unprecedented and serious incident that constitutes a tangible threat to our nation."

Yesterday, JOL reported that South Korean intelligence officials warned lawmakers in Seoul that the North may be preparing for another nuclear weapon test. Over the past 11 years, Pyongyang has carried out five nuclear weapon tests.  



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