North Korea launches missile at Japan, prompting citizens to take cover

 
Helen Cahill
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Donald Trump has said he would unleash "fire and fury" on the North Koreans (Source: Getty)

North Korea fired a missile towards the sea off its east cost, South Korea military said this evening, prompting Japanese authorities to tell its citizens to take safety precautions.

According to local media, the projectile passed over the Tohoku region of northern Japan and landed 1,180 km east of Cape Erimo on Hokkaido.

The Japanese government told people in Tohoku to take cover in buildings or in underground shelters.

Read more: North Korea fires three short-range missiles

Japan's prime minister told reporters: "We will make utmost efforts to firmly protect the lives of the people."

South Korea said the unidentified projectile was launched from a region near its capital, Pyongyang.

It is thought that the missile split into three pieces before it landed. Public broadcaster NHK said there was no evidence of damage in the flight path of the missile.

The attack comes as Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to visit Japan for trade talks.

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Over the weekend, North Korea fired three short-range missiles into the sea off its eastern coast. The launches took place while South Korea and the US military carried out joint military drills.

Tensions between North Korea and the US flared up earlier this month after US President Donald Trump said he would unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang if it made any escalation against the Americans.

A war of words then broke out between Trump and North Korea as negotiators worked behind the scenes to calm the conflict.

North Korea threatened the US by saying that it was preparing a plan to strike Guam, a US army base in the Pacific, prompting Trump to say he had not been tough enough on the North Koreans in his original statement.

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