By Handan Kazanci
ISTANBUL (AA) – Japan said North Korea launched “what appears to be a ballistic missile” which could be heading toward the country, warning people to seek shelter, local media reported early Tuesday
“The Japanese government says North Korea has launched what appears to be a ballistic missile, which could fly in the direction of Aomori and Hokkaido prefectures in northern Japan,” reported public broadcaster NHK.
“The government is urging people in those areas to take shelter immediately,” it added.
“The Japanese government says a projectile that appears to be a North Korean ballistic missile has likely flown over Japan,” the broadcaster later reported.
Last Saturday, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the East Sea, making it the fourth such “provocation” in less than a week, South Korea's military said.
North Korea's escalation of tensions is thought to be in response to South Korea's Armed Forces Day being marked today, as well as to a military drill by the South, the US and Japan in the East Sea.
Last Thursday, US Vice President Kamala Harris said the US will do "everything" in its power to ensure its security commitment to its Asian ally during a daylong visit to South Korea.