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Japan Releases Warning As North Korea Fires Missile: Reports


North Korea has fired a missile that passed over northern Japan, the South Korean and Japanese governments say.

Public broadcaster NHK reported that the missile broke into three pieces and fell into waters 1180km east of Japan's Hokkaido.

The Japanese government's J-Alert warning system advised people in the area to take precautions.

The Japanese military did not attempt to shoot down the missile, which passed over the country at about 6:06am (7:06am AEST).

In response, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he would do all in his power to protect the Japanese public.

"We will make utmost efforts to firmly protect the lives of the people," Abe told reporters as he entered his office for emergency meetings on the missile firing.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tokyo would respond firmly to North Korea's latest missile launch.

"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 it a clear violation of United Nations resolutions.

Japan will work closely with the United States, South Korea and other concerned nations to take a timely and appropriate response, he said.

South Korea's military said the ballistic missile was fired from the Sunan region near the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, flying about 2700km and reaching an altitude of about 550km.

Tensions had eased between North Korea and the United States after weeks of threats.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatened to fire missiles into the sea near the US Pacific territory of Guam, and President Donald Trump warned Pyongyang would face "fire and fury" if it threatened the United States.

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Robert Manning the US military was gathering further information about the launch.

"North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America," Manning said.



North Korea has allegedly launched an unidentified missile in the direction of Japan.

Reports suggest that the missile has since overflown the country and landed in the East Sea.

The Japanese Government has alerted its citizens to take precautions, especially in the north of the country where the missile looked to be headed.

The missile launch comes as tensions rise in international relations.

More to come. 

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