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North Korea fires missile at Japan; ‘Shelter in place’ Japanese government tells citizens

Kim Jong Un overseeing North Korea's new tactical guided weapon system test in April 2022. (Korean Central News Agency/Released)
October 03, 2022

North Korea fired a suspected ballistic missile that flew over Japan on Monday evening in the latest show of force against the nation, setting off alarms and prompting the Japanese government to warn people to shelter in place.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida first announced the missile launch, tweeting, “[Emergency alert] North Korea has launched a suspected ballistic missile. More updates to follow.”

The North Korean missile flew over Japan on Tuesday morning at about 7:40 a.m. local time.

In an update, Kishida tweeted, “[Emergency alert] A projectile that appears to be a North Korean ballistic missile has likely flown over Japan.”

According to CNN, this is the 23rd North Korean missile launch so far this year. North Korea has conducted both ballistic and cruise missile tests throughout the year. This is not the first time this year that a North Korea has fired a missile toward Japan, but this missile’s flight path over the country does pose a higher risk of deadly miscalculations that could set off a broader conflict between the two countries.

New York Times Tokyo Bureau Chief Motoko Rich tweeted, “North Korea has launched 23 missiles this year but this morning one flew over Japan, triggering warnings in Hokkaido and Aomori for residents to seek shelter. MoD says it has landed in Pacific Ocean. First time such warnings were issued since 2017.”

Kishida tweeted that he had given the following instructions after the North Korean missile launch was detected: “1. Dedicate maximum effort to gather and analyze information, and provide the public speedy and adequate information. 2. Ensure the safety of aircraft, vessels, and other assets. 3. Take all possible measures for precaution, including readiness for contingencies.”

The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo issued an advisory on Tuesday morning, stating the missile had flown over the country but that the Japanese government “has warned citizens to continue to be cautious and monitor local media for guidance.” The embassy further recommended that U.S. citizens in Japan “notify friends and family of your safety and monitor local news media for updates.”