• The Japanese government warned citizens to take shelter after its coast guard reported a suspected missile launch by North Korea.

Japan issued a warning to residents of two northern prefectures to seek shelter after North Korea fired a missile, the latest in a series of test launches by Pyongyang.

According to Japan’s Defense Ministry, the missile passed over Japan into the Pacific Ocean at 7:29 am as early as Tuesday in that region, and landed in the ocean 17 minutes later.

North Korea has fired 23 ballistic and other missiles this year, four this week alone, but it was the first time since 2017 that such warnings had been issued in Japan.

According to The New York Times, the government urged residents of Aomori and Hokkaido prefectures, as well as several islands near Tokyo, to seek shelter while following the missile’s trajectory.

The most recent launch was Pyongyang’s fifth in 10 days, amid military flexing by the United States and South Korea, which held trilateral anti-submarine exercises last week with Japanese naval forces.

This latest launch comes after the navies of South Korea, the United States and Japan held trilateral anti-submarine exercises on Friday for the first time in five years.

This follows US Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit to the demilitarized zone dividing the Koreas on September 29.

Meanwhile, Tuesday’s alert resounded across Japan. However, it is believed that the missile crossed the Pacific Ocean and did not reach the Japanese mainland.

The Japanese Prime Minister’s Office later tweeted: “The aforementioned missile is believed to have crossed the Pacific Ocean at around 07:29. The Bureau warned residents to take extra precautions in light of the incident.”

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