According to the officials, North Korea today fired the ballistic missile that flew over Japan ahead of dipping into the northern Pacific Ocean. The Japanese prime minister termed this as a “grave threat”.
The South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile travelled around 2,700km and reached a maximum height of 550km as it flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido and landed in the sea.
The projectile was launched from the Sunan region near the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, just before 6am on Tuesday (21:00 GMT on Monday), the South Korean military said. Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported that the missile flew over the northernmost main island of Hokkaido and broke into three pieces and fell into the waters 1,180km east of Cape Erimo.
The Japanese government’s J-Alert warning system advised people in northern Japan to take precautions, but NHK said there was no sign of damage. Japan’s military did not attempt to shoot down the missile, which passed over Japanese territory around 6:06am (2106 GMT). There was no immediate comment from North Korea.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the missile launch over its territory was an “unprecedented, serious and grave threat”. “Their outrageous act of firing a missile over our country is an unprecedented, serious and grave threat and greatly damages the regional peace and security,” he told reporters.