Ballistic missile fired by North Korea flies over Japan, people urged to take shelter

North Korea fired a ballistic missile from its east coast on Tuesday that flew over Japan for the first time in five years, prompting Japanese authorities to ask citizens to take refuge and causing the suspension of train lines in the north. from the country.

The shooting was reported by the South Korean army staff and the Japanese coast guard. The missile flew over Japan before apparently failing in the Pacific Ocean. Tokyo said it took no defensive action to destroy the North Korean missile.

“North Korea’s series of actions, including the repeated launching of ballistic missiles, threatens the peace and security of Japan, the region and the international community, and poses a serious challenge to the entire international community,” said the spokesman for the Japanese government, Hirokazu Matsuno, during a brief press conference.

It appears to be an intermediate-range ballistic missile, South Korea’s military headquarters said. According to Japanese television TV Asahi, citing a government source in Tokyo, North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile that ran aground in the sea some 3,000 kilometers from Japan.

Pyongyang has stepped up missile tests this year, making its weapons more operational and strengthening its military capabilities. Most North Korean launches adopt a “loop” trajectory, flying into space before landing near their launch site, without flying over neighboring countries.

political protest

By launching a missile over Japan, North Korea conducted a test under more realistic conditions, said Ankit Panda, a fellow at the US think tank Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Politically it is complicated: the missile flies mainly out of the atmosphere when it flies over Japan, but it is obviously distressing for the Japanese population to be warned of the possible arrival of a North Korean missile,” he added. This is North Korea’s fifth shooting in ten days, amid rising tensions with South Korea and the United States, which last week held trilateral military exercises with Japan.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol called the shot of “irresponsible” and assured that Seoul, its allies and the international community will give a firm response. South Korea and the United States expect Pyongyang to carry out its first nuclear test since 2017 by the end of the year.

Speaking to reporters in Tokyo, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called North Korea’s actions “barbaric” and said his government continues to collect and analyze information. This missile launch over Japan is “regrettable,” said the top US envoy for East Asia, Daniel Kritenbrink, during a virtual event organized by the Institute of Korean-American Studies. Washington leaves the door open for diplomacy with Pyongyang, he added, but will stand firm in the face of this “growing threat.”

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