A man walks past a TV set showing North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un in a news report about North Korea’s missile launch in Tokyo. REUTERS/Kim Kyun-Hoon
Hokkaido City officials and self-defense personnel scrambled early Friday to assess threats or damage after North Korea fired an intermediate-range missile over the northern Japan for the second time in recent weeks.
Warning announcements about the missile blared around 7 a.m. In parts of northern Japan, while many residents received alerts on their mobile phones or saw warnings on TV with instructions to hide inside a building or a basement.
People at a crowded train station in Sapporo, Hokkaido’s prefectural capital city, had mixed reactions about the missile launch, with some still in disbelief.
“It just doesn’t feel real. I really don’t know what it’ll do,” said an elderly woman.
“It gives me the shivers. I feel like telling them to just stop it now,” said an elderly man.
Meanwhile, Tokyo residents expressed fear that the missiles may fall on Japan if they are fired in that direction.
“It is very scary. The path [of the missile] goes over Japan, so I’m concerned as to what may happen,” said Satoshi Nagatsuka, a food industry worker.
“[My home is in] Hakodate [Hokkaido], and when I look at the path of the missile, it looks like it is flying over that area and that is very scary. If the missile doesn’t fall into the sea and falls somewhere else, I wonder what will happen,” Reiko Ota, a retiree.
The launch was made a day after North Korea’s threatened to ‘sink’ Japan and reduce U.S. to ‘ashes and darkness” using its nuclear weapons.
The missile reached an altitude of about 770 km and flew for about 19 minutes over a distance of about 3,700 km according to South Korea’s military far enough to reach the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam. — Reuters