Japanese warned to take cover over North Korea missile test

PHOTO: Japanese citizens are warned to take cover has a missile from North Korea flies overhead. (via Matichon)

Japanese residents were warned to take cover as North Korea launched a ballistic missile over Japan. It was the first time in five years that the nuclear-capable isolated country had taken such action. The missile was launched from North Korea and passed over Japan before plunging into the Pacific Ocean.

This is the first time since 2017 that the country has launched missiles passing over Japan. Japanese officials confirmed that they did not take any defensive actions or attempt to stop or destroy the missile. But as a precaution, the East Japan Railway company halted all trains in the northern regions.

An unconfirmed government source said they suspected it might have been an intercontinental ballistic missile. They said that the launch terminated in the ocean about 3,000 kilometres past Japan. The Joint Chiefs of Staff in South Korea disagreed though, saying that they believed it to be an intermediate-range ballistic missile, not the long-range ICBM.

North Korea has been claiming to be testing hypersonic missiles, launching them from the Jagang Province, the same location this missile was launched from today.

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The missile test was harshly criticized by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida who said that the government was investigating but called the move barbaric on the part of North Korea. A government spokesperson held a news conference to address the missile.

“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.”

The United Nations Security Council resolutions have long imposed sanctions on North Korea and banned missile testing and nuclear weapons for the country. But North Korea has flaunted the rules frequently and by continuing to launch more missile tests, they’re improving their capability and development. This is the fifth test in the last 10 days.

South Korean authorities believe that North Korea will also carry out a nuclear test shortly, likely between the Communist Party Congress in China and the midterm elections in the United States next month.

They often use lofted trajectory tests that shoot missiles very high but not very far and allow them to test distance without crossing borders. But tests like this one over Japan are a much more realistic trial for the North Korean missiles. Missiles launched by North Korea over other countries understandably rattles other nations.

The US and South Korea have also been flexing military might recently in the area with both countries running anti-submarine exercises with the Japanese Navy. South Korea also celebrated its Armed Forces Day with a display of F-35 fighters, tanks, missiles, rocket launchers, and drones.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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