New North Korean missile launch raises concerns in Japan

Japan’s defense minister said a missile launched by North Korea on Thursday did not fly over Japan, despite warnings from authorities to residents in some areas to take cover.

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Early Thursday morning, a special alert system was activated and residents of northern Japan’s Miyagi, Niigata and Yamagata prefectures received warnings to seek their place or stay indoors.

The prime minister’s office initially said a missile overtook Japan around 7:48 a.m. (2248 GMT Wednesday), but the defense minister later clarified that the warning was issued in error.

“The missile’s ability to fly over the Japanese archipelago was revealed and a (special) warning was issued, but after verifying this information, we confirmed that the missile did not cross the Japanese archipelago, but disappeared over the sea,” Minister Yasukazu Hamada told reporters.

“We are analyzing the cause” of his disappearance, he added.

The alert in Japan has led to a brief suspension of the country’s bullet train system in some areas.

The incident came after another North Korean missile flew over Japan on October 4, and a day after a barrage of missiles and artillery by the communist regime in Pyongyang toward neighboring South Korea.

“The (North Korean) missile barrage that continues day after day is outrageous and cannot be tolerated,” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters on Thursday.

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