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North Korea reportedly fires ballistic missile over Japan

North Korea has fired a missile over Japan, Japanese broadcaster NHK announced Monday. The missile was fired from a region near Pyongyang and was headed toward northern Japan before landing in the East Sea, the South Korean military said. The Japanese government had alerted citizens in several prefectures, including Fukushima, Nagano, and Iwate, to "evacuate to a sturdy building or basement."

The Japanese government apparently did not attempt to shoot down the missile, while NHK cited the government in claiming Pyongyang fired three projectiles. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the projectile appeared to be a ballistic missile, CNBC reports, a theory South Korea's Yonhap News Agency confirmed, citing the country's military.

Nuclear proliferation researcher Shea Cotton notes this was North Korea's 18th missile launch of the year, though just the third time Pyongyang has overflown Japan.