North Korea fires mis­sile over Ja­pan

Business Daily (Kenya) - - TOP NEWS - BBC

North Korea has fired a mis­sile over Ja­pan in a move Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe called an “un­prece­dented” threat to his coun­try and US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said was an act of “con­tempt”.

The mis­sile, launched early yes­ter­day Korean time, flew over Hokkaido Is­land be­fore crash­ing into the sea.

The UN Se­cu­rity Council is to hold an emer­gency meet­ing later in re­sponse. North Korea has con­ducted a flurry of mis­sile tests re­cently amid grow­ing in­ter­na­tional un­ease.

This is the first time it has fired what is thought to be a bal­lis­tic weapon over Ja­pan. On the two pre­vi­ous oc­ca­sions its rock­ets crossed Ja­pan - in 1998 and 2009 - North Korea said they were for satel­lite launch ve­hi­cles, and there­fore not weapons.

The BBC’S Ru­pert Wing­field­Hayes in Tokyo says this lat­est launch ap­pears to be the first of a mis­sile pow­er­ful enough to po­ten­tially carry a nu­clear war­head. The South Korean mil­i­tary said the mis­sile was fired east­ward from near the North’s cap­i­tal, Py­ongyang - which is rare.

No ef­fort was made by Ja­pan to shoot down the mis­sile but it is­sued a safety warn­ing telling ci­ti­zens in Hokkaido to take shel­ter in “a sturdy build­ing or base­ment”.

US and Ja­panese forces have just fin­ished a joint drill in Hokkaido while an­other an­nual ex­er­cise in­volv­ing tens of thou­sands of South Korean and US mil­i­tary per­son­nel is still un­der way in South Korea.

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