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North Korea fires missile over Japan

Missiles are driven past the stand during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father in Pyongyang

Missiles are driven past the stand with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and other high-ranking officials during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country’s founding father Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

North Korea fired an unidentified missile into the Pacific Ocean 2000 km east of Japan from near the capital of Pyongyang early on Friday, with Japan in talks with the United States. 

The AJ Wire

The missile passed over the Hokkaido Prefecture in Japan’s north as residents were warned to shelter, and landed in the ocean 2000 km east of the country.

However, Japanese alarms were canceled within seven minutes. 

A Japanese official said Tokyo will take an appropriate response to the launch and is in contact with Washington.  

Japan and South Korea’s defense ministry confirmed the missile launch soon after it was reported by local media. 

In a show of force, South Korea immediately launched a ballistic missile off into waters off its east coast. Seoul said this made clear to Pyongyang the readiness of South Korea’s ability to respond quickly to a military threat. 

The United Nations Security Council, who have repeatedly condemned North Korea’s missile tests, will convene an emergency meeting 3 pm ET on Friday. 

The missile launch comes after the UN approved new sanctions on the North, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. 

Some reports indicate that the projectile is an intercontinental ballistic missile. 

Japan’s national public broadcaster, NHK, says the missile flew over Hokkaido at 7:06 am local time. It also warned citizens to avoid any possible debris. 

The Republic of Korea, the South’s official name, said that that the missile likely reached an altitude of around 770 km and travelled 3,700 km. Seoul also said that the ROK and the US are analyzing the details of the launch. 

The apparent missile test comes after the United Nations Security Council approved new sanctions on the North, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. 

On Aug 29, the DPRK fired their domestically produced Hwasong-12 missile over Hakkaido along a similar route, which Tokyo called an “unprecedented threat”. 

Pyongyang said it was their “first step” in military operations in the Pacific.

The UN Security Council of the US, United Kingdom, Russia, China and France have repeatedly condemned the tests by Pyongyang. 

The White House said US President Donald Trump was briefed on the situation.

North Korea’s frequent missile tests and an advancing nuclear program along with responding US and allied military exercises in the Pacific region have caused tensions to rise over the Peninsula. 

Threatening statements from Mr Trump and China’s gradual lockdown on trade with the isolated DPRK have contributed as well. 


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