The Japanese government has issued a statement reassuring residents of Hokkaido, its second largest island, that they are no longer in danger from a missile launched by North Korea. The government had previously issued an evacuation order for the area, but this has now been lifted. The Japanese Coast Guard confirmed that the missile had already landed and that no distress signals had been received from ships in the area. The missile was believed to have been launched at around 7:25 a.m. local time, with the J-Alert warning system broadcasting about 20 minutes later. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff also confirmed that the missile had landed in the waters off its eastern coast.
North Korea has claimed that its recent missile launches are in response to joint military drills between the United States and South Korea. In a meeting with senior officials, leader Kim Jong Un called for his country’s military to be strengthened in a “more practical and offensive manner”. The meeting of the Central Military Commission was held in response to “the escalating moves of the US imperialists and the South Korean puppet traitors to unleash a war of aggression”, according to North Korean state media agency KCNA. Military leaders discussed “practical matters and measures for machinery to prepare various military action proposals” that the “enemy” could not counteract.
This is a developing story and updates will be provided as they become available.