Japan orders evacuation over missile scare

Lazy eyes listen


The Japanese government issued a temporary evacuation order, alerting Hokkaido residents that a North Korean ballistic missile was due to land near the northern island on Thursday morning.

The launch was detected around 7:30 a.m., and inhabitants of Hokkaido were advised to evacuate and seek shelter immediately, either within buildings or underground, because the missile was initially expected to land in the area. However, the government quickly revoked the air raid warning after further analysis revealed that the missile had little chance of landing anywhere near Hokkaido.

The Japanese Defense Ministry announced about 8:20 a.m. that the missile had come down and was no longer a threat. The missile was launched from near Pyongyang and fell outside of Japan’s territorial waters in the Sea of Japan, according to the Coast Guard.

According to South Korean military officials reported by Yonhap news agency, the projectile’s kind has yet to be determined, but its flight time and distance suggest that it was an intermediate- or long-range missile.

North Korea conducted its ninth missile test this year, and its first in in than two weeks. It happened amid rising tensions with Seoul. According to South Korean media, North Korean authorities have refused to take calls on the inter-Korean military hotline, which the two nations use to avoid misinterpretation.