North Korea Launches Missile That Flew over Japan

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A North Korean missile fired over Japan Tuesday was denounced by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as a “most serious and grave” threat.

The missile was fired just before 6 a.m. in Japan. The launch set off warnings in the northern part of the country urging people to seek shelter.

The unidentified missile flew over Erimomisaki, on the northern island of Hokkaido, and broke into three pieces before falling into the Pacific Ocean, about 1,180 kilometers (733 miles) off the Japanese coast,CNN reported.

The missile was in flight for about 15 minutes, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at an emergency press conference. “There are no immediate report of the fallen objects and no damage to the ships and aircraft,” he added.

Abe, who shared a 40-minute phone conversation with US President Donald Trump in response to the launch, said the two leaders had agreed to call for an immediate emergency meeting of the UN Security Council “and increase the pressure towards North Korea.”

During the call, Trump reiterated that the United States “stands with Japan 100%” said Abe.

The missile was launched near the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, which is rare.

CNN’s Will Ripley, who is on the ground in Pyongyang, said the news had not been broadcast to people inside North Korea as of 9:45 a.m. local time.

South Korea responded by conducting a bombing drill at 9:30 a.m. local time to test its “capability to destroy the North Korean leadership” in cases of emergency, an official with the country’s Defense Ministry told CNN.

Yoon Young-chan, the head of South Korea’s Presidential Office Public Affairs Office, told reporters that four F-15K fighter jets dropped eight one-ton MK-84 bombs at a shooting range.

The operation was meant “to showcase a strong punishment capability against the North,” he said.

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Tasnim News Agency

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