Reports: North Korea fires missile that flies over Japan
The Japanese government warned citizens Monday that a North Korean missile was headed toward the northern end of the country, according to a report by Japanese broadcaster NHK.
According to a report by CNBC, NHK said the government urged people in Tohoku to take refuge in solid buildings or underground shelters.
The missile eventually flew over Hokkaido island in Japan, South Korean officials confirmed to NBC News.
A South Korean news agency reported that North Korea had fired an unidentified missile, according to a report by The Associated Press.
Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday said the missile traveled around 2,700 kilometers (1677 miles) and reached a maximum height of 550 kilometers (341 miles) as it flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. The JCS said it is analyzing the launch with the United States and also that South Korea's military has strengthened its monitoring and preparation in case of further actions from North Korea.
Japanese officials said there was no damage to ships or anything else reported. Japan's NHK TV said the missile separated into three parts.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters, "We will do our utmost to protect people's lives."
The launch comes days after the North fired what was assessed as three short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and a month after its second flight test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, which analysts say could reach deep into the U.S. mainland when perfected.
North Korea typically reacts with anger to U.S.-South Korean military drills, which are happening now, often staging weapons tests and releasing threats to Seoul and Washington in its state-controlled media. But animosity is higher than usual following threats by U.S. President Donald Trump to unleash "fire and fury" on the North, and Pyongyang's stated plan to consider firing some of its missiles toward Guam.
Pyongyang regularly argues that the U.S.-South Korean military exercises are an invasion rehearsal. The allies say they are defensive and meant to counter North Korean aggression.
North Korea's U.N. ambassador, Ja Song Nam, wrote recently that the exercises are "provocative and aggressive" when the Korean peninsula is "like a time bomb."