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N. Korea Fires Missile at Japan – World News

 

North Korea fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan on Tuesday, its neighbors said, stepping up tests of weapons designed to strike key targets of regional US allies.

It was North Korea’s most significant missile test since January when it launched a Hwasong-12 intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the US territory of Guam. This is the first time North Korea has fired a missile over Japan since 2017.

At least one missile fired from North Korea is believed to have flown over Japan and crashed into the Pacific Ocean, the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office said.

Japanese authorities issued a “J-alert” for residents of northeastern regions to evacuate nearby buildings, the first since 2017. Trains were temporarily halted in Japan’s Hokkaido and Aomori regions before operations resumed after a North Korean missile appeared to have landed in the Pacific.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters, “The firing that followed North Korea’s latest series of launches was a reckless act that I strongly condemn.” He said a National Security Council would be set up to discuss the situation.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said there were no immediate reports of damage after the North’s missile launch. He said the missile landed in the sea outside the country’s exclusive economic zone after a 22-minute flight.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it also detected a ballistic missile launched from North Korea’s northern hinterland. It said the South Korean military is strengthening its surveillance position and is ready in close coordination with the United States.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said North Korea had fired an intermediate-range missile with a range of 4,000 kilometers (2,485 miles). This is a range that puts Guam within striking distance.

Yun said he called a meeting of the National Security Council to discuss the launch and said the North’s “irresponsible nuclear provocations” would meet with a strong response from the South and the wider international community.

The launch was North Korea’s fifth round of weapons tests in the past 10 days, seen in apparent retaliation for bilateral military drills between South Korea and the United States and other drills by allies including Japan last week. North Korea sees such exercises as a rehearsal for an invasion.

The missiles launched during the last four rounds were short range and fell in the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. Those missiles are capable of hitting targets in South Korea.

North Korea has tested about 40 missiles in about 20 different missile events this year, as its leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to expand its nuclear arsenal and refused to return to nuclear diplomacy with the United States.

Some experts say Kim will eventually use his expanded arsenal to try to pressure Washington into accepting his country as a nuclear power, which he thinks would require lifting international sanctions and other concessions.

N. Korea Fires Missile at Japan – World News

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N. Korea Fires Missile at Japan – World News

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