Escalating tensions even further, North Korea on Friday fired a missile that flew over Japan before landing in the Pacific Ocean. The test comes a day after Pyongyang threatened to “reduce the United States to ashes and darkness” and “sink Japan into the sea” using nuclear weapons. The missile flew far enough to reach the US Pacific territory of Guam, Reuters reported.
South Korea and Japan said the missile, launched at 6.57 am, flew over Japan’s northern island of Hoakkaido and landed 2,200 km away in the Pacific Ocean. Japanese authorities sounded sirens and issued alerts, warning residents to take shelter when the missile passed over Hoakkaido. According to the US Pacific Command, it was an intermediate-range ballistic missile.
This was the second missile North Korea fired over Japan in as many months. On August 30, North Korea had fired a missile over Japan, saying it was a “first step” to counter the military action in the Pacific Ocean to contain the US territory of Guam.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the test and called for a unified international response against Pyongyang. “We can never tolerate that North Korea trampled on the international community’s strong, united resolve toward peace...,” Abe said, according to The Telegraph. South Korea has urged the North to stop its “reckless provocation”.