North Korea has fired a ballistic missile over Japan and the Japanese government has strongly protested what it called Pyongyang’s latest intolerable provocation.
The missile was launched at 6:57am Japan time on Friday, flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido before falling into the Pacific Ocean 2000km east of Cape Erimo, at 7:06am, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.
Japanese citizens were earlier warned to take shelter, broadcaster NHK reported.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he believed North Korea’s latest missile launch was a sign of the rogue nation’s frustration at being slapped with increased sanctions.
“This is another dangerous, reckless, criminal act by the North Korean regime threatening the stability of the region and the world and we condemn it utterly,” the prime minister told Sky News.
The top commander of US nuclear forces says he assumes the recent nuclear test by North Korea was a hydrogen bomb.
Air Force General John E. Hyten, commander of Strategic Command, told reporters that while he was not in a position to confirm it, he assumes from the size of the underground explosion and other factors that it was a hydrogen bomb – which is a leap beyond the fission, or atomic, bombs North Korea has previously tested.
North Korea claimed they exploded a hydrogen bomb, and while US officials have not contradicted them, they have not confirmed it, either.
Hyten says a North Korean H-bomb is worrying because of the scale of destruction it could cause if used in war.