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Breaking News: North Korea Fires Missile Across Japan, escalating tensions

missle isaei Kato Japan Self Defense Forces

North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Tuesday morning, prompting warnings for residents to take cover while provoking a sharp reaction from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other leaders. The projectile would have flown over Japan, says the prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.

The test, one of the most provocative ever from the reclusive state, appeared to have been of a recently developed intermediate-range Hwasong-12 missile, experts said. It came as U.S. and South Korean forces conduct annual military drills on the peninsula, to which North Korea strenuously objects.

The population was warned by sirens to seek coverage, but soon it became apparent that the rocket would not hit Japan. This is reported by the Japanese public television channel NHK.

In three pieces

The rocket splashed into three pieces and landed at sea. The South Korean Army and the United States also confirm the missile launch in the eastern direction.

Japan has not tried to fetch the rocket. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says in a first reaction that his government is doing its utmost to protect the population. He convened his ministers for urgent consultation. In recent times, the tension in the region has already risen. US President Donald Trump and North Korean used strong war language.

According to Reuters:

“North Korea’s reckless action is an unprecedented, serious and a grave threat to our nation,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters.

Abe said he spoke to Trump on Tuesday and they agreed to increase pressure on North Korea. Trump also said the United States was “100 percent with Japan”, Abe told reporters.

The United Nations Security Council would meet later on Tuesday to discuss the test, diplomats said.

Earlier this month, the 15-member Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea in response to two long-range missile launches in July.

South Korea’s military said the missile was launched from near the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, just before 6 a.m. (2100 GMT Monday) and flew 2,700 km (1,680 miles), reaching an altitude of about 550 km (340 miles).

“We will respond strongly based on our steadfast alliance with the United States if North Korea continues nuclear and missile provocations,” the South’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

Four South Korean fighter jets bombed a military firing range on Tuesday after President Moon Jae-in asked the military to demonstrate capabilities to counter North Korea.

South Korea and the United States had discussed deploying additional “strategic assets” on the Korean peninsula, the presidential Blue House said in a statement, without giving any more details.

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