North Korea launches missile over Japan

North Korea has fired a missile which managed to fly over northern Japan, authorities say.

The projectile passed over the island of Hokkaido before breaking up into three pieces and landing in the Pacific Ocean, according to officials in Japan.

South Korea’s military said on Tuesday that the missile flew more than 1,600 miles.

It comes just weeks after an exchange of threats between North Korea and US president Donald Trump, as tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions continue to increase.

And the development also follows a similar missile exercise carried out by the rogue state on Saturday, where three short-range rockets were fired into the sea off North Korea’s coast.



Kim Jong-un's North Korea also fired three missiles on Saturday.
Kim Jong-un’s North Korea also fired three missiles on Saturday. Credit: AP

North Korea is known to react angrily and provocatively while joint US-South Korean military drills are carried out on the peninsula – which are happening now.

Japanese officials reported that the rocket did not damage ships or anything else as it landed in the ocean.

The country’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters: “We will do our utmost to protect people’s lives.”

His comments were quickly followed by condemnation from Boris Johnson, who accused North Korea of “reckless provocation”.

Foreign Secretary Mr Johnson described himself as “outraged” by the launch.

Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe said the country would protect itself.
Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe said the country would protect itself. Credit: AP

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it was analysing the latest missile firing with the United States.

The US acknowledged the missile’s launch, adding that it was continue to assess the development.

Earlier this month, President Trump warned North Korean leader Kim Jong-un he faced “fire and fury” if he continued to pursue his nuclear weapons programme.

His comments heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula, already on alert after the North launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile in July- believed to be capable of hitting the US mainland.

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