Japan warned its citizens to take shelter as it estimated the flight path of a North Korean missile went over its territory. Pyongyang has carried out a series of missile tests during the past week. At the same time, Seoul and Washington have carried out joint war games, and Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to the North Korean border to slam the Pyongyang government.
According to Tokyo’s Ministry of Defense, the missile flew over Japan’s northern territory, though the flight path is yet to be confirmed. The Japanese government prompted citizens in two northern prefectures to take shelter around 7 a.m. on Tuesday. North Korea last fired a missile over Japan in 2017.
This year, Pyongyang test-fired a record number of missiles amid soaring military activity on the Korean Peninsula. US President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeul have signed an agreement to increase military ties. The agreement has seen the US carry out live-fire war games, and an American aircraft carrier made a port call in South Korea.
Pyongyang views the escalated military activity by Washington and Seoul as preparations for regime change. Last week, Harris traveled to the demilitarized zone and denounced Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un’s government.
She attacked Pyongyang, dubbing the government as a “brutal dictatorship.” She went on to condemn North Korea’s nuclear weapons program while demanding the full denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Harris also provocatively committed to defending Seoul with the “full range of US defense capabilities.”
The military activity on the Korean Peninsula is at its highest level since 2017. President Donald Trump and Yoon’s predecessor, Moon Jae-in, engaged Kim in negotiations. During the period of diplomacy, the US and South Korea drastically cut back on their military drills and North Korea halted missile and nuclear testing.