North Korea launched its latest missile on Monday, part of a series of launches seemingly intended to express anger at a joint U.S.-South Korean missile drill currently in progress. The Monday launch reportedly passed over Japanese territory, in a significant escalation of North Korea’s provocative behavior.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday afternoon that the North Korean missile was detected flying toward Japan, and shortly afterward passed through Japanese airspace over the Tohoku region, which is in the northern part of the country.
“We’ll take utmost efforts to protect the public,” Abe promised after the launch was detected.
Tohoku residents were urged to take shelter in a “sturdy building or basement” as the missile approached.
South Korean tracking reports indicate the missile landed in the sea after passing over Japan.
The Japanese government stated on Monday afternoon that a total of three missiles were fired from North Korea. The one that passed through Japanese airspace broke into three pieces before crashing into the sea about a thousand kilometers off Hokkaido, according to Japanese media.
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