A purported intermediate-range ballistic missile fired by North Korea was shot over a portion of northern Japan.
It led to the temporary suspension of some train operations and a warning from the Japanese government for residents of the island of Hokkaido to seek cover during its flight.
It is the first missile launch by North Korea over Japan since 2017.
North Korea is not allowed to test nuclear or ballistic missiles, according to the UN.
“It looks that North Korea launched a missile. In a rare advisory sent out at 7:29 local time on Tuesday, the Japanese government urged citizens to seek shelter within buildings or underground (22:29 GMT Monday).
No injuries have been reported as a result of the missile’s fall into the Pacific Ocean, according to officials, who stated it happened around 3,000 km (1,860 miles) from Japan.
Japan’s National Security Council has been called to a meeting after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida harshly denounced the acts, calling the launch “violent behavior.”
The launch looks to be an intentional upping of the ante in an effort to get Japan’s and the US’s attention, which have largely been ignoring North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un.
Launching missiles without warning or consultation into or over another nation is a blatant violation of international rules.
Most nations steer away of it entirely since it can be misinterpreted for an attack, and although it is not as significant as a nuclear test—which could happen next—it is still extremely provocative.
The US has responded, with Daniel Kritenbrink, the top US ambassador for East Asia, calling North Korea’s action “unfortunate.”
Earlier in the week, Japan, the US, and South Korea conducted trilateral military drills, which have a history of inciting Pyongyang.
This missile launch marks Pyongyang’s fifth in a week. Two missiles crashed on Saturday in waters outside of Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
The majority of North Korea’s missile tests are carried out on lofted, high-altitude flight paths, avoiding neighboring countries.
However, by shooting over or over Japan, North Korean scientists were able to test missiles in conditions “more indicative of those they’d face in actual use,” according to analyst Ankit Panda, who spoke to a news agency.
North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, ruled out the chance of discussions on denuclearization as the country passed a legislation earlier this month declaring itself to be a nuclear weapons state.
Despite extensive sanctions, Pyongyang conducted six nuclear tests between 2006 and 2017.