North Korea fires missile at Japan, some residents warn to avoid

SEOUL/TOKYO, Oct. 4 (Reuters) – North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan for the first time in five years on Tuesday, prompting warnings for residents to evade and temporarily halting northern Japan train operation.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and Japan’s Coast Guard reported a missile test launched off North Korea’s east coast.

The Japanese government is warning citizens to take shelter as the missile appears to have flown over Japanese territory before falling into the Pacific Ocean. It said it did not use any defenses to destroy the missile, the first to fly from North Korea or over Japan since 2017.

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“North Korea has repeatedly launched a series of ballistic missiles and other acts, threatening the peace and security of Japan, the region and the international community, and posing a serious challenge to the entire international community, including Japan,” Japan’s top government spokesman Hirowa Matsuno said in a brief press release. said at the meeting.

Shortly after, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters that North Korea’s behavior was “barbaric” and that the government would continue to collect and analyze information.

South Korea’s JCS said it appeared to be an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) launched from North Korea’s Gapang province. North Korea has recently used the province for several tests, including multiple missiles it says are “hypersonic”.

North Korea may have fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that fell into the sea about 3,000 kilometers (1,860 miles) from Japan, TV Asahi said, citing an unnamed government source.

The latest launch was Pyongyang’s fifth in 10 days, as the United States and South Korea conducted a trilateral anti-submarine exercise with the Japanese navy last week in a show of military might.

South Korea hosted its own display of advanced weapons on Saturday to mark its Armed Forces Day, including multiple rocket launchers, ballistic missiles, main battle tanks, drones and F-35 fighter jets.

The test prompted East Japan Railway Co (9020.T) to suspend its train operations in the northern region, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported.

South Korean lawmakers said last week that North Korea had completed preparations for a nuclear test that could take place sometime between this month’s Chinese Communist Party National Congress and November’s U.S. midterm elections.

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Reporting by Hyonhee Shin and Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Leslie Adler, Chris Reese and Lincoln Feast

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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