North Korea fires ballistic missile over Japan, South Korea says

Photo: Korean Central News Agency
Photo: Korean Central News Agency(WNDU)
Published: Aug. 28, 2017 at 5:28 PM CDT
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North Korea fired a ballistic missile from its capital Pyongyang toward the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, South Korea's military says -- which will rattle an already anxious region.

The Pentagon also confirms the launch saying the missile flew over Japan and wasn't considered a threat to North America, CBS News' national security correspondent David Martin reports.

"We can confirm that the missile launched by North Korea flew over Japan," the Pentagon said in a statement to CBS News. "We are still in the process of assessing this launch. North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America. We are working closely with Pacific Command, Strategic Command and NORAD and will provide an update as soon as possible."

Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff on Tuesday said the South Korean and U.S. militaries were analyzing the launch and didn't immediately confirm how far the projectile traveled and where it landed.

However, local media broadcaster NHK says the North Korea missile broke into three pieces and fell into the waters off Japan's Hokkaido island in the Pacific Ocean. There was no damage to ships or anything else reported.

The Japanese government warned people in northern Japan to take precautions, Reuters news agency reported.

Japanese bullet train service has been suspended in northern Japan and citizens in Japan were warned not to approach any debris.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tuesday the missile launch was a threat that Tokyo would respond to firmly, Reuters writes.

"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 said.

Tuesday's news comes on the heels of Kim Jong Un's firing of several short-range missiles into its East Sea on Friday. Those failed and exploded upon launch.

North Korea typically reacts with anger to U.S.-South Korean military drills, which are happening now, often staging weapons tests and releasing threats to Seoul and Washington in its state-controlled media. But animosity is higher than usual following threats by U.S. President Donald Trump to unleash "fire and fury" on the North, and Pyongyang's stated plan to consider firing some of its missiles toward Guam.

Pyongyang regularly argues that the U.S.-South Korean military exercises are an invasion rehearsal. The allies say they are defensive and meant to counter North Korean aggression.

North Korea's U.N. ambassador, Ja Song Nam, wrote recently that the exercises are "provocative and aggressive" when the Korean peninsula is "like a time bomb."

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