Japan Urges Citizens To Take Shelter Immediately Following North Korean Missile Launch, Reports Say
A man watches a news broadcast showing file footage of a North Korean missile test, at a railway station in Seoul on March 29, 2020. - North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast on March 29, the fourth such launch this month as the world battles the coronavirus pandemic.
JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images

The Japanese government is urging citizens to “take shelter immediately” after North Korea launched an unidentified ballistic missile.

The Japanese government broadcast the warning across the country after the missile was fired in the direction of the northern part of the country, an apparent escalation. The missile eventually flew overhead and continued onward to the Pacific Ocean. It was the fifth missile launch in the past 10 days.

“ALERT: The Japanese government is warning that North Korea appears to have launched at least one ballistic missile,” the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo tweeted. “There’s a possibility it’s heading toward Japan. The government is urging everyone in the country to monitor news media.”

NHK World News, which reports on news inside Japan, said that the government was “urging everyone in the country to take shelter immediately.”

David Ingles, a reporter for Bloomberg TV, confirmed the news, writing: “Japan is warning residents to take shelter from a missile from North Korea.”

The latest launch from North Korea comes as a U.S. carrier strike group held military exercises with South Korea and Japan nearby.

“The U.S. Navy, Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy, and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) conducted a trilateral anti-submarine warfare exercise in seas in the vicinity of Korea and Japan,” the U.S. 7th Fleet said in a statement. “Exercises such as this strengthen a trilateral relationship between Japan, Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United States that is forward-leaning, reflective of our shared values, and resolute against those who challenge regional stability.”

The 7th Fleet said that the operations were intended to show the country’s unwavering commitment to upholding security and stability. The statement said that the exercise included the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, USS Ronald Reagan, Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (DDG 62), Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65), the JMSDF destroyer JS Asahi (DD 119), and the Republic of Korea Navy destroyer ROKS Munmu the Great (DDH 976).

“Coordination with our allies is critical to strengthening our ability to respond to any challenge in the region. We all share common maritime strategy interests and challenges, and are truly stronger when we sail and operate together, “said Rear Adm. Michael Donnelly, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5. “The ROK Navy and JMSDF are maritime forces we always benefit from working closely with, and we look forward to more opportunities for operations at sea that deepen our relationship and capabilities.”

This report has been updated to include additional information. 

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