North Korea has launched a missile over Japan for the first time in five years, prompting Japanese officials to urge its residents to take shelter.
The missile was fired at 7:22 a.m. local time Tuesday and flew over Japan. Twenty-two minutes later, it landed in the Pacific Ocean, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said, per The New York Times.
In a news briefing, per multiple outlets, Matsuno said, "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."
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida later said the missile launches were "barbaric," according to Reuters.
On Tuesday morning local time, the Prime Minister issued an emergency alert, telling citizens: "North Korea has launched a suspected ballistic missile. More updates to follow."
Eugene Hoshiko/AP/Shutterstock Shows J-Alert or National Early Warning System to the Japanese residents, in Tokyo. South Korea says North Korea has fired a ballistic missile toward its eastern waters. The words read " Missile passed. Missile passed North Korea Missiles, Tokyo, Japan - 03 Oct 2022
Kishida's office later updated residents, saying, "A projectile that appears to be a North Korean ballistic missile has likely flown over Japan."
In a tweet that appears to have been deleted, the Prime Minister's office told people in the island of Hokkaido and Aomori to take cover and "to not approach anything suspicious that is found and to immediately contact the police or fire department," per CNN.
The Prime Minister also laid out a plan via Twitter that would "provide the public speedy and adequate information"; guarantee "the safety of aircraft, vessels, and other assets"; and take "all possible measures for precaution, including readiness for contingencies."
In an update moments later, the Japanese government also said the missile could seriously harm citizens.
The East Japan Railway Company also shut down, per Reuters.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff in South Korea said the object was likely an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) that originated in North Korea's Jagang Province, where the country has launched multiple missiles recently, alleging some were "hypersonic," Reuters added.
This is the first missile North Korea has flown over Japan in five years, Reuters reported. The missile crossed 2,850 miles and reached as high as 1,000 kilometers, Matsuno said.
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North Korea was previously sanctioned for its missile and nuclear weapons, which the Nations Security Council had already banned, the outlet added.
Sending the missile over Japan gives North Korea the ability to improve its testing procedures, Ankit Panda of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, based in the U.S., said, according to Reuters.
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"Compared to the usual highly lofted trajectory, this allows them to expose a long-range reentry vehicle to thermal loads and atmospheric reentry stresses that are more representative of the conditions they'd endure in real-world use," Panda said, adding, "Politically, it's complicated: the missile largely flies outside of the atmosphere when it's over Japan, but it's obviously distressing to the Japanese public to receive warnings of a possible incoming North Korean missile."
Last month, North Korea launched two ballistic missiles, marking the fourth test in one week, The New York Times reported. Those series of missiles were launched after South Korea, along with Japan and the United States, met to analyze whether they could, together, detect opposing submarines.