North Korea have fired an intermediate range ballistic missile eastwards over Japan and into the Pacific on Friday.
This has been described as the regimes latest provocation amid high tensions over its banned weapons programmes.
North Korea launched a Hwasong-12 ballistic missile that passed over Hokkaido. The missile travelled 3,700 kilometres and reached a maximum height of 770 kilometres; this is the furthest any North Korean IRBM missile has ever travelled.
Initial estimates suggest the Hwasong-12 would have a maximum range of between 3,700km and 6000km.
The launch, from near Pyongyang, came after the United Nations Security Council imposed an eighth set of sanctions on the country over its ballistic missile and atomic weapons programmes.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called this test “a reckless act of launching a missile that flies over our country is an unprecedented, serious and important threat.”
That was in response to its sixth nuclear test — by far its largest yet — earlier this month, which Pyongyang said was a hydrogen bomb small enough to fit onto a missile.
The Pentagon confirmed the missile fired was an intermediate range ballistic missile and said it did not pose a threat to North America.
The North has raised tensions in the region with its rapid progress in weapons technology under leader Kim Jong-Un, who is closely associated with the programme and regularly pictured by state media overseeing launches and visiting facilities.
Its last missile launch, a Hwasong-12 intermediate range missile just over two weeks ago, also overflew Japan — its first to do so for years — sparking emergency sirens and text alerts, before coming down in the Pacific Ocean.
Friday’s missile flew over Hokkaido in northern Japan “at around 07:06 am (2206 GMT) towards the Pacific Ocean”, Japan’s J-Alert system said, with reports saying it came down around 2,000 kilometres east of Hokkaido.
“Japan can never tolerate this repeated provocative action by North Korea,” Tokyo’s top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters.
“We have strongly protested to the North, telling them of the strong anger by the Japanese people and condemn with the strongest words possible.”