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A ballistic missile fired by North Korea over Japan

A ballistic missile fired by North Korea over Japan

In what looks to be a calculated escalation to grab the attention of Tokyo and Washington, North Korea launched a ballistic missile over Japan.

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

It is the first missile launch by North Korea over Japan since 2017.

Some citizens were warned by Japan to seek cover. In response, the US and South Korea conducted joint bombing exercises.

Four planes from each side participated in the drill, firing at a dummy target on an uninhabited island in the Yellow Sea, according to the South Korean joint chiefs of staff. The exercise, according to a statement, showed Seoul and Washington’s determination to take Pyongyang’s threat seriously.

North Korea is not allowed to test nuclear or ballistic missiles, according to the UN. Additionally, it is against international conventions to launch missiles without warning or consultation towards or over other nations.

Since it could be mistaken for an attack, the majority of nations steer clear of it altogether. Although it is not as significant as a nuclear test—which could happen next—it can nonetheless be seen as extremely provocative.

According to reports, sirens and text alerts with the following wording woke up residents in the northern part of Japan, including Hokkaido island and Aomori city: “It appears like North Korea has fired a missile. Please seek shelter within structures or underground.”

They were cautioned to watch out for falling debris as the missile sailed overhead. According to reports, a lot of people seemed to maintain their composure. One video showed commuters in Tokyo walking calmly as loudspeakers blared warnings.

It had traveled the farthest of any North Korean missile ever and ascended to a height of roughly 1,000 kilometers, surpassing the International Space Station.

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Fumio Kishida, the prime minister of Japan, called the launch “violent behavior,” and Yasukazu Hamada, the minister of defense, stated that Japan would not rule out any measures for bolstering its defenses, including “counterattack capabilities.”

Adrienne Watson, a spokesperson for the US National Security Council, described it as a “dangerous and foolish decision” that was “destabilizing” to the area.

In response to the mounting threat posed by the North, Japan, the US, and South Korea have been working together to bolster their defenses at the time of the launch.

This missile launch marks Pyongyang’s fifth in a week. Two missiles crashed on Saturday in waters outside of Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

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