Tokyo: North Korea fired a missile on Tuesday and it fell into the Pacific Ocean off Hokkaido Island after passing over the Japanese archipelago, government officials said here.
The missile was fired around 5.58 a.m., from the western coast of North Korea towards a northeastern direction, and passed over Cape Erimo in Hokkaido around 6.06 a.m., Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said.
The missile flew over 2,700 km with the highest altitude at 550 kmhigh, and fell into the Pacific Ocean some 1,180 km east of Cape Erimo around 6.12 a.m., Xinhua news agency quoted Suga as saying.
He said that it was possible that the missile separated into three parts over the Sea of Japan, and the Japanese government is analysing the situation.
He also said that the missile firing posed "an unprecedentedly serious and grave security threat" to Japan and the country will work closely with the US and South Korea to address the issue.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the missile launch poses a grave threat to regional peace and security and Japan strongly protests against the missile launch.
He added that Japan is to call for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council and to call on the international society to cooperate and impose more pressure on North Korea.
Following the missile launch, the Japanese government held a National Security Council meeting.