Japan issues rare alert as North Korea fires missile over main island without warning

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By Carina Murphy

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Japan urged citizens to take shelter early this morning (October 4) after North Korea reportedly fired an unexpected ballistic missile over the country for the first time in five years.

The launch marks a potentially deadly escalation of weapons tests by the Kim Jong-un regime, with some outlets describing the move as a deliberate attempt to provoke a response from Tokyo and Washington.

Per a report by CNN, it comes amid a string of missile tests carried out by North Korea over the last ten days, and mark's the country's 23rd such missile launch this year.

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Kim Jong-Un inspects what is claimed to be a hydrogen bomb in October 2017. Credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy

According to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), the intermediate-range warhead was launched at around 7:23AM (local time) from Mupyong-ri, near North Korea's border with China.

It traveled around 2,858 miles in around 20 minutes, reaching heights of around 621 miles above land. Japanese officials reported that the missile flew over the country's Tohoku region on the main island of Honshu, before falling into the Pacific Ocean roughly 1,364 miles offshore.

While there has been no reports of damage caused by the missile, it was enough to trigger a rare J-alert - a Japanese system designed to inform the public of emergencies and threats).

Citizens in the north of Japan - including the Aomori prefecture, Hokkaido, and Tokyo’s Izu and Ogasawara islands - woke up to blaring sirens and text alerts. The warnings read: "North Korea appears to have launched a missile. Please evacuate into buildings or underground," according to a report by BBC News.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also issued a personal warning via his office's Twitter account, urging residents to "not approach anything suspicious that is found and to immediately contact the police or fire department."

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy

The Prime Minister later described the launch as "violent behavior", while US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson condemned it as a "dangerous and reckless decision" that was "destabilizing" to the region.

Per CNN, The White House has also "strongly condemned" the test, with National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson calling out North Korea’s "blatant disregard for United Nations Security Council resolutions and international safety norms".

Over the past few weeks, the US has been working with Japan and South Korea to strengthen their defense against the growing threat posed by North Korea.

Last week, the three countries conducted naval exercises for the first time in five years - an activity that has antagonized Pyongyang leadership in the past.

After the last round of allied naval exercises in 2017, North Korea fired two missiles over Japan and even conducted a nuclear test.

Featured Image Credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy

Japan issues rare alert as North Korea fires missile over main island without warning

vt-author-image

By Carina Murphy

Article saved!Article saved!

Japan urged citizens to take shelter early this morning (October 4) after North Korea reportedly fired an unexpected ballistic missile over the country for the first time in five years.

The launch marks a potentially deadly escalation of weapons tests by the Kim Jong-un regime, with some outlets describing the move as a deliberate attempt to provoke a response from Tokyo and Washington.

Per a report by CNN, it comes amid a string of missile tests carried out by North Korea over the last ten days, and mark's the country's 23rd such missile launch this year.

wp-image-1263171671 size-full
Kim Jong-Un inspects what is claimed to be a hydrogen bomb in October 2017. Credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy

According to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), the intermediate-range warhead was launched at around 7:23AM (local time) from Mupyong-ri, near North Korea's border with China.

It traveled around 2,858 miles in around 20 minutes, reaching heights of around 621 miles above land. Japanese officials reported that the missile flew over the country's Tohoku region on the main island of Honshu, before falling into the Pacific Ocean roughly 1,364 miles offshore.

While there has been no reports of damage caused by the missile, it was enough to trigger a rare J-alert - a Japanese system designed to inform the public of emergencies and threats).

Citizens in the north of Japan - including the Aomori prefecture, Hokkaido, and Tokyo’s Izu and Ogasawara islands - woke up to blaring sirens and text alerts. The warnings read: "North Korea appears to have launched a missile. Please evacuate into buildings or underground," according to a report by BBC News.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also issued a personal warning via his office's Twitter account, urging residents to "not approach anything suspicious that is found and to immediately contact the police or fire department."

wp-image-1263171670 size-full
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy

The Prime Minister later described the launch as "violent behavior", while US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson condemned it as a "dangerous and reckless decision" that was "destabilizing" to the region.

Per CNN, The White House has also "strongly condemned" the test, with National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson calling out North Korea’s "blatant disregard for United Nations Security Council resolutions and international safety norms".

Over the past few weeks, the US has been working with Japan and South Korea to strengthen their defense against the growing threat posed by North Korea.

Last week, the three countries conducted naval exercises for the first time in five years - an activity that has antagonized Pyongyang leadership in the past.

After the last round of allied naval exercises in 2017, North Korea fired two missiles over Japan and even conducted a nuclear test.

Featured Image Credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy