December 8, 2023

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Defense Ministry: North Korea launches an apparent ballistic missile at Japan

North Korea’s Defense Ministry said Monday that North Korea launched what appears to be a ballistic missile at Japan.

The Japanese Ministry of Defense announced that the apparent ballistic missile was launched at 7:22 a.m. local time and passed over Japan at 7:29 a.m.

The South Korean government confirmed that the Japanese government warned citizens to take cover. It is possible that the missile flew over Japan, but it is still unknown whether the missile fell into the sea.

TV show J-Alert or the National Early Warning System for the Japanese Population in Tokyo, October 4, 2022, in Tokyo. South Korea said North Korea fired a ballistic missile into its eastern waters. The words read: “A missile passed. A missile passed.”

Eugene Hoshiko/AFP

Residents in Aomori and Hokkaido prefectures, towards Japan’s northern tip, were advised to be on alert and notify police or fire officials if debris was seen.

Officials also warned people not to touch or pick up any debris.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s office began gathering members to analyze the situation.

Photo: A TV screen showing a news program talking about a North Korean missile launch with file images, seen at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, October 1, 2022.

A TV screen shows a news program reporting a North Korean missile launch with file images, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, October 1, 2022.

Lee Jin-man / AP, FILE

A government spokesman said no damage had been reported so far and the wreck was being searched for. Officials are collecting information and will work with South Korea and the United States

“North Korea’s actions threaten Japan and the international community,” the spokesman said. “Such a missile launch is inconsistent with UN resolutions. Japan will launch a strong protest against North Korea in view of this. All new information will be shared immediately.”

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ABC News’ Joohee Cho, Guy Davies, and Anthony Trotter contributed to this report.