North Korea fired a missile that flew over Japan and crashed into the waters in Hokkaido region on Tuesday. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the missile fell into the sea, about 1,180 km east of the Cape of Erimo in Hokkaido. The Japanese side made no effort to shoot down the missile, reported BBC.
Experts told Reuters that Pyongyang most likely fired the recently-developed intermediate-range Hwasong-12 missile. Before this, North Korea has fired rockets over Japan in 1998 and 2009. But both of those were satellite launches, and not projectiles.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the incident was a rare one. “North Korea’s reckless action is an unprecedented, serious and a grave threat to our nation,” said Abe, according to Reuters. He added that Japan would seek an urgent meeting at the United Nations.
South Korea also condemned the test. “We will respond strongly based on our steadfast alliance with the United States if North Korea continues nuclear and missile provocations,” the country’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
The incident has escalated the tensions on the Korean peninsula. It comes three days after North Korea test-fired three short-range ballistic missiles. Ties have deteriorated between the United States and North Korea since Pyongyang said it was planning to strike the US Pacific Territory of Guam with medium-to-long-range strategic ballistic missiles.
On August 9, Trump had warned Pyongyang that any threat to the country will be met with “fire and fury like the world has never seen”. He had also warned North Korea that it would “truly regret” if it was to act against any US territory or allies.