A suspected missile launch from North Korea has led to Japanese citizens being urged to “take shelter”. While it was later confirmed the missile had passed over, it served as a worrying reminder of Kim Jong Un’s nuclear intentions.
The missile launch was first announced on October 4 at 7:27am local time (October 3 11:27pm GMT), with residents being encouraged to evacuate inside a building or underground.
At 7:29am (11:29pm) the missile was confirmed to have passed through the Pacific Ocean.
The first tweet about the launch read: “Civil Protection Information October 04, 07:27 announced Missile launch. missile launch.
“The missile is believed to have been launched from North Korea. Evacuate inside a building or underground. missile launch. missile launch.
“The missile is believed to have been launched from North Korea. Evacuate inside a building or underground.”
Then a few minutes later an update was posted on the official Japanese Prime Minister’s Twitter account, stating: “[Civil protection information] Missile pass. Missile pass.
“The aforementioned missile is believed to have passed through the Pacific Ocean around 07:29.
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“If you find anything suspicious, do not approach it and immediately contact the police or fire department.
“Received date and time: 07:42 on the 4th Target area: Hokkaido, Aomori Prefecture.”
Japan’s top government spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno, said in a brief news conference: “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.”
TV Asahi, citing an unnamed government source, said North Korea might have fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and it fell into the sea some 3,000 km (1,860 miles) from Japan, reported Reuters.
Last Saturday, North Korea fired two ballistic missiles, its fourth launch in the space of just one week.
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The South Korean, American and Japanese Navies also staged trilateral anti-submarine exercises on Friday for the first time in five years, reported The Guardian.
Vice President Kamala Harris made a visit to South Korea on Thursday and toured the demilitarised zone as she reinforced the Biden administration’s “ironclad” commitment to defence against the North.
The dictatorship has tested nuclear weapons six times since 2006, with the most recent one in 2017.