‘Outrageous’: North Korea fires ballistic missile over Japan

Tokyo/Seoul, Oct 4 (EFE).- A ballistic missile launched Tuesday by North Korea flew over Japan, prompting the leaders of Japan and South Korea to condemn the incident as “outrageous” and “reckless.”

An intermediate-range ballistic missile was fired at about 7.23 am local time on Tuesday (22:23 GMT Monday) from North Korea’s Jagang province, according to the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Tokyo said the missile flew for about 20 minutes over a distance of more than 4,000 kilometers and may have fallen 3,000 km east of the country into the Pacific Ocean outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

“We strongly condemn the launch as an outrageous act,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said, according to public broadcaster NHK.

“In response to it, I have instructed officials to check for possible damage caused by falling objects, to thoroughly collect and analyze information, and cooperate with allies.”

A woman watches the news at a station in Seoul, South Korea, 04 October 2022. EPA-EFE/JEON HEON-KYUN

South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol also condemned the launch and warned of retaliation.

“Such reckless nuclear provocations will be met with a resolute response from our military and our allies, as well as the international community,” he said, according to Yonhap news agency.

He added that he would join a National Security Council meeting to discuss the launch.

Tokyo had activated its national emergency warning system, telling people in the northern prefectures of Hokkaido and Aomori to take shelter inside or underground.  

This is the first time that Japan has activated this alert system since Sep. 15, 2017, when another North Korean projectile flew over Hokkaido.

The new launch comes after Tokyo, Washington and Seoul last week carried out joint military drills in the Sea of Japan, including American aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, to counter Pyongyang’s development of submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

North Korea has launched four other rounds of projectiles since Sep. 25, all of them using short-range ballistic missiles, making Tuesday’s the longest range of its latest series of tests. EFE

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