North Korea has conducted a wave of weapons launches as South Korea and US continue large-scale military drills.
North Korea has fired a missile which flew over Japan, the second in a month to fly over the country, into the Pacific as Pyongyang continues a record-breaking year of weapons launches.
The missile travelled above Japan at about 7.48am (22:48 GMT), the Japanese prime minister’s office said in a tweet, as television broadcasters broke into programming to urge residents in some areas to take shelter or stay indoors.
The launch came a day after North Korea fired at least 23 missiles, the most in a single day, including one that landed off South Korea’s coast for the first time and prompted Seoul to respond.
Residents of Miyagi, Yamagata and Niigata prefectures in central Japan were warned to take shelter indoors, according to the J-Alert Emergency Broadcasting System.
About 25 minutes after the launch was first reported, Japan’s Coast Guard said the missile had already fallen into the Pacific Ocean.
South Korea’s military also reported the missile launch, which was over North Korea’s east coast.
The missile went through stage separation, suggesting it might have been a long-range weapon, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency. North Korea last sent a missile over Japan a month ago, the first time it had done so since 2017.
Pyongyang has conducted a record number of weapons launches this year and the latest come amid ongoing large-scale military exercises between the United States and South Korea, which North Korea claims are a “provocation”.
The drills, known as Vigilant Storm, involve some 240 warplanes, including F-35 fighters, staging around-the-clock simulated missions.