A slow news day just got heated up:
North Korea has launched a missile which passed over northern Japan, the Japanese Government says.
The Japanese Government warned people in the north of the country to take precautions and shelter in their basements, according to public broadcaster NHK.
“We will make utmost efforts to firmly protect the lives of the people,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters in brief remarks as he entered his office for emergency meetings.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the missile launch posed an “unprecedented threat” and was a clear violation of United nations resolutions.
“This ballistic missile launch appeared to fly over our territory,” the top government spokesman told reporters.
“It is an unprecedented, serious and grave threat to our nation.”
The missile was launched from near North Korean capital Pyongyang and flew about 2,700 kilometres, reaching an altitude of about 550 kilometres, South Korea’s military said.
Mr Suga said it was fired about 5:58am (Japan time), flew over the northernmost main island of Hokkaido about 6:06am and fell into waters about 1,180 km to the east of Cape Erimo about 6:12am.
NHK said it broke into three pieces as it fell into waters off Hokkaido.
The unidentified projectile was fired from near the North Korean capital Pyongyang, South Korea’s military said.
The Government’s J-Alert warning system advised people in the area to take precautions, but NHK said there was no sign of damage.
The Japanese military did not attempt to shoot down the missile.
The Pentagon said it was gathering more information but the missile did not pose a threat to North America.
“We can confirm that the missile launched by North Korea flew over Japan,” Pentagon spokesman Colonel Robert Manning told reporters.
“North American Aerospace Defence Command [NORAD] determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America.”
Aussie dollar down sharply. Gold and YEN flying, stock futures hit, bonds bid up…