North Korea on October 4 fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan for the first time in five years. It forced Japan to issue evacuation notices and suspend trains during the flight of the missile.
The launch was the most provocative weapons demonstration by North Korea this year as it ramps up missile tests to a record pace. Today’s test was North Korea’s fifth round of missile launches in 10 days.
What Japan said?
The Japanese Prime Minister’s office said at least one missile fired from North Korea flew over Japan and is believed to have landed in the Pacific Ocean. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters that the firing was a reckless act and he strongly condemned it.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said no damage was immediately reported from the missile that flew 22 minutes. Japanese authorities alerted residents in northeastern regions to evacuate to shelters, in the first “J-alert” alert since 2017.
What South Korea said?
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement it detected the missile being fired from the inland north of North Korea. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said the North’s reckless nuclear provocations would meet the stern response of the South and the broader international community.
Both South Korea and Japan convened an emergency national security council meeting to discuss the launch.
According to South Korean and Japanese estimates, the missile travelled about 4,500-4,600 kilometers at a maximum altitude of 970-1,000 kilometers before landing in the waters outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.