North Korea fires suspected intercontinental ballistic missile

North Korea has fired multiple missiles, including a failed suspected intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that forced the Japanese government to issue evacuation alerts in the northern and central parts of the country.

The launches on Thursday are the latest in a series of North Korean weapons tests in recent months that have raised tensions in the region. They come a day after Pyongyang fired more than 20 missiles, the most in a single day, including one that landed off South Korea’s coast for the first time and prompted Seoul to fire air-to ground missiles in response.

Earlier in the morning, the office of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida had issued warnings to residents in the northern and central prefectures of Miyagi, Yamagata and Niigata, instructing them to take shelter inside firm buildings or underground. Bullet train services in those regions were temporarily suspended following the missile alert before resuming shortly.

Kishida, who said the first missile launched may have been an ICBM, condemned North Korea’s tests and said officials were analysing the details of the weapons.

“North Korea’s repeated missile launches are an outrage and absolutely cannot be forgiven,” he added.

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