Panic as North Korea fires missile over Japan

Since 2017, this is the North’s first missile launch over Japan. Japan warned some of its inhabitants to seek cover.

For the first time since 2017, North Korea has punched a missile over Japan in what is perceived to be a deliberate attempt to get the attention of work powers.

The missile traveled 4,500 kilometers (2,800 miles) before crashing into the Pacific Ocean; on another trajectory, it would have struck the US territory of Guam.

In response to this, the US, Japan, and South Korea conducted their military drills and Japan issued an alert to some citizens to take cover.

Reports by the BBC state that the South Koreans and US aircraft fired at a mock target on an uninhabited island in the Yellow Sea, while the US and Japan also jointly carried out drills over the Sea of Japan.

Meanwhile, the UN prohibits North Korea from testing ballistic and nuclear weapons. Flying missiles towards or over other countries without any warning or consultation also contravenes international norms.

According to reports, sirens and SMS alerts with the following wording woke up residents in the northern part of Japan, including Hokkaido island and Aomori city: “North Korea appears to have launched a missile. Please evacuate into buildings or underground.”

They were cautioned to watch out for falling debris as the missile sailed overhead. Though many remained calm.

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in a statement condemned the attack describing the launch as “violent behavior”, while defense minister Yasukazu Hamada said Japan would not rule out any options to strengthen its defenses including “counterattack capabilities”.

Back at the White House, US President Joe Biden reassured Washington’s “ironclad commitment” to Japan’s defense during a phone call with Mr. Kishida, while the two leaders jointly condemned the missile test.

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