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Japan on alert as North Korea fires missile over its territory

Nuclear-armed North Korea has fired a ballistic missile over Japan for the primary time in 5 years, prompting a warning for residents to take cowl and a brief suspension of practice operations in northern Japan.

The Japanese authorities warned residents to take cowl on Tuesday because the missile appeared to have flown over and previous its territory earlier than falling into the Pacific Ocean.

It was the primary North Korean missile to comply with such a trajectory since 2017, and Tokyo mentioned its 4600 kilometre vary could have been the longest distance travelled for a North Korean check flight, that are extra typically “lofted” greater into area to keep away from flying over neighbouring international locations.

The newest launch was Pyongyang’s fifth in 10 days, amid army muscle-flexing by the United States, South Korea, and Japan. Last week, the three international locations carried out trilateral anti-submarine workouts that included a US plane service, which stopped in South Korea for the primary time since 2017.

Recent exams have drawn comparatively muted responses from Washington, which is concentrated on the warfare in Ukraine in addition to different home and international crises, however the US army has stepped up shows of drive within the area.

Tokyo mentioned it took no steps to shoot the missile down. Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada mentioned Japan wouldn’t rule out any choices, together with counterattack capabilities, because it seems to be to strengthen its defences within the face of repeated missile launches from North Korea.

South Korea additionally mentioned it could increase its army and enhance allied cooperation.

“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,” Japan’s prime authorities spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno, informed a news convention.