North Korea fired a missile early on Tuesday from near Pyongyang that flew over northern Japan, the South Korean and Japanese governments said.
Public broadcaster NHK reported that the missile broke into three pieces and fell into the waters off Japan’s Hokkaido.
The Japanese government’s J-Alert warning system advised people in the area to take precautions.
The missile flew about 1,677 miles and reached an altitude of about 342 miles, South Korea’s military said.
It was fired at around 5:57 a.m. Japan Standard Time, Monday from the Sunan region near the North Korean capital of Pyongyang and flew over Japan, South Korea’s Joint Chief of Staffs said, adding that it and the United States military are analyzing more information. The missile flew over the northernmost main island of Hokkaido around 6:06 and fell into waters about 733 miles to the east of Cape Erimo around 6:12, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.
The Japanese military did not attempt to shoot down the missile, but Suga said the launch was a threat that Tokyo would respond to firmly.
“This ballistic missile launch appeared to fly over our territory. It is an unprecedented, serious and grave threat to our nation,” the top government spokesman told reporters.
Japan protests the firing in the strongest terms, Suga said, calling a clear violation of United Nations resolutions. Japan will work closely with the U.S., South Korea and other concerned nations to take a timely and appropriate response, he said.
Tensions had eased between North Korea and the U.S. after weeks of threats.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatened to fire missiles into the sea near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam and U.S. President Donald Trump warned Pyongyang would face “fire and fury” if it threatened the United States.