Authorities have asked fishing boats in the designated splashdown area to remain vigilant and stay away from potential missile fragments if they detect them
North Korea launched what is presumed to be a ballistic missile towards the Sea of Japan on Wednesday, the Japanese coast guards reported.
The authority requested fishing vessels in the designated splashdown area to remain vigilant and do not approach the potential fragments of a missile if they discover them.
A crisis response center was set up at the office of the Japanese prime minister in connection with the launch. The premier himself is currently on a visit to Lithuania, where he is taking part in a NATO summit.
The NHK television reported, citing defense sources, that the missile remains in flight, and, therefore, is flying a very steep trajectory. It is possible that it was long-range or a ballistic missile.
The Japanese defense ministry said that, according to its estimates, the missile will remain in flight for about an hour after the launch.
“At present, the missile is expected to splash down in the Sea of Japan, outside Japan’s exclusive economic zone, approximately 550 km east of the Korean Peninsula. The estimated splashdown time is 11:13 a.m. local time (5:13 a.m. Moscow time),” the ministry said in a statement.
Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada told reporters shortly after that a ballistic missile was probably launched.
“There is such a possibility, that is why we keep analyzing these events,” he said.
Wednesday’s launch was 12th for Pyongyang since the beginning of the year.