North Korea fires missile over Japan triggering warnings

Monday, August 28th, 2017
Last Update: 21:57
North Korea has fired an unidentified missile over Japan, triggering warnings for people in the area. The projectile later dropped into the sea. The launch follows three short-range missiles fired over the weekend.A North Korean missile passed over Japan early on Tuesday morning, local time. It broke into three pieces and fell into the waters off Japan΄s northern Hokkaido island, according to public broadcaster NHK.

South Korea΄s military said the projectile was fired from the Sunan region near the North Korean capital of Pyongyang just before 6 a.m. (2100 UTC Monday). It did not try to shoot the missile down. Japan΄s government had warned people in the north of the country to take precautions.

The island nation΄s military is practicing deploying anti-missile batteries at three US bases in Japan. South Korean officials had warned on Monday of signs that Pyongyang was preparing for another nuclear weapons test.

Weekend tests

On Saturday, North Korea test-fired three short-range ballistic missiles from Kittaeryong on North Korea΄s east coast. Two missiles flew about 155 miles (250 kilometers) in a northeastern direction and a third blew up almost immediately. The US Pentagon said the weekend launches did not threaten US territory - either the mainland or the US island territory of Guam - but Pentagon spokesman Colonel Robert Manning said "You΄re still firing missiles, so that΄s a threat."

"We have to make the assumption that they continue to learn throughout each one of these missile launches," Manning said. North Korea had previously fired two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July. South Korea and the US are holding annual defensive drills, which North Korea routinely describes as preparation for invasion.

jm/cmk (AFP, Reuters)

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