Vila Times

‘Unprecedented’: North Korea fires missile over Japan

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Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says his nation is facing a “serious and grave threat” after North Korea fired a missile over northern Japan this morning.

It flew over Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido before breaking into three pieces and falling into the sea about 1,180 km to the east of Japan.

Air raid warnings sounded in northern Japan as the missile approached, with people being warned to take shelter in basements, reports ABC News.

North Korea has conducted dozens of ballistic missile tests under young leader Kim Jong-un, but firing projectiles over mainland Japan is rare.

“We will make utmost efforts to firmly protect the lives of the people.”

Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said concerns over the country’s national security had heightened, while chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga called it an “unprecedented threat” and said the launch was a clear violation of United Nations resolutions.

The Japanese military did not attempt to shoot down the missile.

Australia ready to stand with Japan, Bishop says.