Japan has issued evacuation notices after North Korea fired a ballistic missile over the country.  

According to BBC News Japan, the missile was fired on October 3, 2022, and was the longest North Korean nuclear-capable weapon flight to be launched over Japan in the past five years.  

Japan estimated that the missile covered roughly 4,500 kilometers (around 2,800 miles) while flying at a maximum altitude of between 970 and 1,000 kilometers (between around 600 and 620 miles). 

Japan’s Defense Minster Yasukazu Hamada confirmed that the missile landed in the Pacific Ocean, around 3,200 kilometers (or 1,990 miles) away from the northern coast of Japan. In response to the event, Japanese authorities preventively warned its residents to evacuate to the nearest shelters. 

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North Korea fired two cruise missiles from the coastal town of Onchon ahead of a US-South Korea joint exercise.
 

Meanwhile, the US recognized the missile launch as one of North Korea’s most provocative weapons demonstrations, threatening both the US and its allies as the missile could reach the US territory of Guam and possibly beyond. 

“The United States strongly condemns the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) dangerous and reckless decision to launch a long-range ballistic missile over Japan. This action is destabilizing and shows the DPRK’s blatant disregard for United Nations Security Council resolutions and international safety norms,” US National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson, Adrienne Watson said in a statement. 

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has already spoke with Secretary General Akiba Takeo of the National Security Secretariat of Japan and National Security Office Director Kim Sung-han of the ROK to discuss a response, Watson added.  

“The United States will continue its efforts to limit the DPRK’s ability to advance its prohibited ballistic missile and weapons of mass destruction programs, including with allies and UN partners,” Watson concluded. 

Similar weapons were launched by North Korea in 2017. At the time, Hwasong-12 missiles also reached an area close to Guam. 

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Japan will develop new long-range missiles and upgrade existing ones to bolster its stand-off defense capability against threats posed by China and North Korea.