The Pentagon on Monday evening confirmed the missile flew over Japan and said it did not pose a threat to North America.
“We assess North Korea conducted a missile launch within the last 90 minutes,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “We are still in the process of assessing this launch. North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America. We are working closely with Pacific Command, Strategic Command and NORAD and will provide an update as soon as possible.”
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the launch an “unprecedented, serious and grave threat,” according to the AFP news agency. He called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council.
South Korea’s military said Pyongyang fired the “unidentified projectile” about 5:57 a.m. local time Tuesday morning and that it landed in the sea, Yonhap news agency reported.
Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that the country’s government warned its citizens that the missile appeared to be headed toward Tohoku, in northern Japan, and advised people there to take cover.
The missile instead reportedly passed over the country about 6:06 a.m., according to NHK, Bloomberg reported.
Japan didn’t attempt to shoot down the missile.
The launch comes after North Korea fired three short-range ballistic missiles on Saturday.
South Korean officials Monday also said they have seen signs that Pyongyang may be preparing for another nuclear weapons test, its sixth.