- Sputnik International, 1920, 24.01.2023
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North Korea Fires Presumed Missile, Prompts Brief Evacuation Call in Japan

© KCNAAerial view of a volley of short-range ballistic missiles fired in a DPRK weapons drill
Aerial view of a volley of short-range ballistic missiles fired in a DPRK weapons drill - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.08.2023
TOKYO (Sputnik) - The Japanese Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that North Korea presumably fired a ballistic missile that flew over Japanese territory and momentarily prompted an evacuation order.
"North Korea launched, possibly a ballistic missile. We will inform if there are updates," the ministry said in a statement.
An initial statement issued by the Defense Ministry specified that North Korea had "possibly" launched what it believed to be a ballistic missile. Government officials later detailed the projectile flew above Japanese territory towards the Pacific Ocean.
Japan’s Okinawa had issued an air warning, a Sputnik correspondent reported, adding that locals were advised to find shelter in buildings or underground facilities.
"At 04:00 on August 24 (07:00 pm on August 23 GMT), a North Korean missile flew towards the Pacific Ocean," the government said in a statement. "The previously announced call for evacuation is canceled."
Japan has since filed a protest against North Korea for the incident, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno announced.
"The actions of North Korea, including constant missile launches, threaten the peace and security of our country, region and the world community. Such launches, even if they are aimed at launching a satellite, violate UN Security Council resolutions that prohibit North Korea from making launches using ballistic technology," the official told a press conference.
"Despite numerous calls not to launch, this launch is a problem in terms of safety of navigation and life of the population. Japan lodges a strong protest to North Korea and condemns it in the strongest terms."
However, citing military authorities, South Korean media reported it was a "space launch vehicle" that had been the subject of the Wednesday launch.
North Korea's rocket launch of earth observation satellite Kwangmyong 4 - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.08.2023
North Korea Warns Japan of Plans to Launch Satellite From August 24-31
The latest comes after North Korea earlier revealed it intended to launch a satellite between August 24 and 31, warning Japan that potential debris may result from the operation. It was not specified what the launch entailed, or what type of satellite it planned to dispatch.

Earlier in May, North Korea fired off a rocket carrying a satellite that ultimately crash-landed into the sea not long after take-off. At the time, officials vowed to undertake a second launch once conducting an analysis of the initial effort.

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