North Korea fired a missile on Monday that flew over northern Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean, according to the Pentagon. The unprecedented move came after the rogue regime launched 3 short range missiles on Saturday.
“We assess North Korea conducted a missile launch within the last 90 minutes. We can confirm that the missile launched by North Korea flew over Japan. We are still in the process of assessing this launch. North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America. We are working closely with Pacific Command, Strategic Command and NORAD and will provide an update as soon as possible.” U.S. Army Col. Rob Manning in a Pentagon statement
The missile was launched at 5:58 a.m. local time and flew over Hokkaido, Japan’s second-largest island and the most northern prefecture, at 6:06 a.m. and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 6:12 a.m., according Martyn Williams, a senior correspondent at IDG News Service, citing information from Japanese public broadcaster NHK.
The projectile reportedly broke apart into three pieces.
South Korea’s military also confirmed the launch, according to the Yonhap News Agency. The projectile was fired from the vicinity of Sunan in Pyongyang and flew east at a distance of some 2,700 kilometers (1,678 miles), the agency reported, citing information from the joint chiefs of staff.
For its part, Japan was not happy. They issued an alert to the residents of the Tohoku region in the north as the missile flew over the nation, although they apparently did not move to shoot it down.
“This ballistic missile launch appeared to fly over our territory. It is an unprecedented, serious and grave threat to our nation. It could endanger peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region. It is also very dangerous and problematic in terms of the traffic safety of planes and ships. The launch is an obvious violation of UN resolutions. We cannot tolerate these repeated provocations by the North. We condemn this in the strongest possible way.”Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga
US and Japanese forces concluded a joint exercise in the Hokkaido region on Monday. South Korea and the US are currently engaged in their yearly military exercises. The missile flew over the Tohoku region in the north, which is south of Hokkaido. Message?
This is the first time a missile has passed over Japan in a “high altitude trajectory,” according to NBC.