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North Korea fires ballistic missile over Japan

It was the first passage of a North Korean missile over Japan since September 2017. (APFP)
It was the first passage of a North Korean missile over Japan since September 2017. (APFP)
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04 Oct 2022 01:10:50 GMT9
04 Oct 2022 01:10:50 GMT9

TOKYO: North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan for the first time in about five years on Tuesday morning, according to the Japanese and South Korean governments.

Around 7:22 a.m. (10:22 p.m. Monday GMT), North Korea launched the missile from a site in the inland province of Chagang. The missile passed over the Tohoku region in northeastern Japan before falling into waters in the Pacific Ocean outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone around 7:44 a.m.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, Japan’s top government spokesman, told a press conference that the missile is assumed to have flown some 4,600 kilometers, the longest ever, with a maximum altitude of about 1,000 kilometers. There have been no reports of damage to aircraft and ships.

According to Japan’s Defense Ministry, the missile flew over Aomori Prefecture in northeastern Japan around 7:28-29 a.m. and then fell into waters some 3,200 kilometers east of the Pacific coastal city of Kamaishi in Iwate Prefecture, south of Aomori.

Via its J-Alert early warning system, the Japanese government urged residents in Aomori, the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido and other areas to evacuate to protect themselves from the North Korean missile firing.

It was the first passage of a North Korean missile over Japan since September 2017, when a Hwasong-12 missile of North Korea flew over Hokkaido, and the 23rd time Pyongyang launched missiles this year.

The J-Alert early warning system was turned on for the first time since the September 2017 launch of the Hwasong-12 missile. On Tuesday, no order to shoot down the North Korean missile was issued as it was not feared to fly to Japan.

The North Korean missile launch was “an outrageous act,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters. “We strongly condemn it.”

The prime minister instructed government officials to take necessary responses in cooperation with the United States and South Korea. The government held a meeting of its National Security Council at the prime minister’s office.

“The missile firing was a serious challenge to the international community, including our country,” Matsuno said, adding that Tokyo made a solemn protest to Pyongyang via embassy channels in Beijing. He released a Japanese government statement that called on people to continue normal lives and said Japan will drastically strengthen its defense capabilities, including through the possession of counterstrike capabilities.

Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada told reporters that the missile North Korea launched Tuesday may be a ballistic missile of medium or longer range and may be the same type as Hwasong-12.

The South Korean military said the missile flew at a speed of Mach 17.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken held phone talks and confirmed that their countries and the two plus South Korea will cooperate in taking responses at a meeting of the U.N. Security Council over the latest North Korean missile launch.

JIJI Press

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