North Korea launches missile over Japan, Tokyo warns residents to take shelter

The hermit kingdom fired off a missile shortly before Vice President Kamala Harris left the peninsula last week.

Updated: October 3, 2022 - 8:08pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

North Korea fired a missile on Tuesday morning through Japanese airspace for the first time in five years.

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said the projectile launched from Jagang province at 7:23 a.m. local time, before soaring over the archipelago, according to Bloomberg. It appeared to be an intermediate-range ballistic missile, the outlet noted.

Japan warned its citizens to take cover amid the missile's journey, though it ultimately landed in the Pacific Ocean off the country's eastern coast.

With the United States focused on Russia and China over their rivals' interests in Ukraine and Taiwan, respectively, North Korea has leeway to push the diplomatic envelope with its nuclear tests, Bloomberg observed.

The hermit kingdom fired off a missile shortly before Vice President Kamala Harris left the peninsula last week. Her visit was marred by an embarrassing gaffe in which she stated that the United States was an ally of the communist dictatorship instead of to the democratic government in the south of the Korean landmass.

Nuclear disarmament talks with Pyongyang have stalled entirely and are not likely to resume in earnest, given the Biden administration's relentless pursuit of an unrelated nuclear deal with Iran that remains elusive.