North Korea launches unidentified missile near Japan

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North Korea has fired a missile that passed over northern Japan early on Tuesday, the Japanese government said.

The government’s J-Alert warning system advised people in the area to take precautions, but the public broadcaster NHK said there was no sign of damage.

The Japanese military did not attempt to shoot down the missile, which passed over Japanese territory at about 6.06am local time (2106 GMT).

Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, said he would do all in his power to protect the Japanese public. “We will make utmost efforts to firmly protect the lives of the people,” Abe told reporters in brief remarks as he entered his office for emergency meetings about the missile firing.

South Korea said the North had fired an unidentified projectile early on Tuesday from a region near its capital, Pyongyang, eastwards towards the sea.