March 25, 2023

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North Korea launched a ballistic missile over Japan. Warning to the public: Enter buildings or underground

North Korea has launched a ballistic missile, believed to have a medium range, over areas in northern Japan.

This led to the issuance, by the Government of Japan, of a warning for the residents of the island of Hokkaido to stay sheltered during the flight of this missile and to the temporary suspension of some railway operations, according to

North Korea’s first missile launch over Japan in five years

This is North Korea’s first missile launch over Japan since 2017.

The United Nations has banned North Korea from testing ballistic and nuclear weapons.

“North Korea appears to have launched a missile. Please enter buildings or underground,” the Japanese government said in a rare alert issued Tuesday at 7:29 a.m. local time.

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Officials said the missile fell into the Pacific Ocean about 3,000 kilometers from Japan and that no injuries were reported in connection with the incident.

The Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, strongly condemned the actions, describing the launch as “violent behavior”, and the Japanese Government convened a meeting of the National Security Council.

The launch appears to be a deliberate escalation, aimed at getting the attention of Japan and the US, which have ignored North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Flying missiles to or over other countries without prior warning or consultation is totally against international norms.

Most countries avoid doing this altogether, as it can easily be mistaken for an attack, and although it is not as important as a nuclear test – which could follow – it is still a huge challenge.

US reaction to North Korea’s ballistic missile launch

The US criticized North Korea’s ballistic missile launch as “dangerous and irresponsible” and vowed to defend South Korea and Japan with all American might, but added it remained open to dialogue with Pyongyang, according to Reuters.

“This action is destabilizing and shows the DPRK’s flagrant disregard for United Nations Security Council resolutions and international safety norms,” ​​White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said, referring to Korea’s Nord by the initials of his official name.

She also said US national security adviser Jake Sullivan had spoken with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts to discuss “appropriate and robust joint and international responses”.

Japan, the US and South Korea have held trilateral military exercises

The launch comes as Japan, the US and South Korea held trilateral military exercises earlier last week, which are known to provoke Pyongyang.

The missile launch is Pyongyang’s fifth in a week. On Saturday, two missiles reached waters outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

Many of North Korea’s missile tests are carried out on a high-altitude trajectory, avoiding flights over its neighbors.

But the launch over or beyond Japan allowed North Korean scientists to test the missiles under circumstances “that are closer to the conditions they would face in actual use,” analyst Ankit Panda told Reuters.

North Korea recently passed a law declaring itself a nuclear-armed state, with leader Kim Jong-un rejecting the possibility of denuclearization negotiations.

Pyongyang conducted six nuclear tests between 2006 and 2017, despite extensive sanctions.

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