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North Korea fires missile over Japan, prompting alerts

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A ballistic missile test-fired by North Korea on May 9, 2019 (Credit: KCNA)

A ballistic missile launched from North Korea triggered a brief emergency alert in Japan, according to Japanese and South Korean officials. The alert urged citizens to take shelter.

The missile was launched from the Jagang region of North Korea at 7:22 a.m. Tuesday morning, prompting Japanese authorities to issue an alert just 5 minutes later. The alert was cancelled after the missile passed over northern Japan and fell into the Pacific Ocean.

Sirens sounded in parts of Japan as citizens went to seek shelter. The alert was also broadcasted on television and radio stations throughout the country.

According to Japanese government officials and the South Korean military, North Korea launched an Intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) that flew for at least 22 minutes. There were no reports of missile debris anywhere in Japan.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida strongly condemned Tuesday’s launch, while South Korea’s Yoon warned about a resolute response from the international community.

This is just the second time that an IRBM has flown over Japan. In 2017, a Hwasong-12 intercontinental missile flew over Hokkaido, prompting a region-wide alert across the prefecture and causing immediate condemnation by world leaders.

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