North Korea fires 'spy satellite'
The Japanese government issued an emergency warning for residents in the south to take cover from a North Korean missile, news agency Reuters reported. Japan said over its J-Alert broadcasting system that North Korea appeared to have fired a missile. It sent out the warning to residents in the southern prefecture of Okinawa as North Korea had notified Japan that it plans to launch a satellite.
Japan and South Korea have said that this could be North Korea's third attempt to put a spy satellite into orbit in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
North Korea tried to launch ‘spy satellites' twice earlier this year but failed. South Korean officials have said in recent days that it appeared set to try again soon, it was reported.
North Korea fired a military spy satellite southwards, Seoul's military said, after Japan confirmed that Pyongyang had warned it of an imminent launch.
"North Korea has fired what it claims is a military surveillance satellite in a southwards direction," South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
South Korea's state maritime safety agency issued a warning to vessels of the launch for the same areas as previous launches, news agency Reuters reported.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's office had earlier said that it had "strongly demanded" North Korea halt preparations for the launch while Japan was preparing for "unforeseen circumstances" and cooperating with the United States and South Korea.
"Even if the purpose is to launch a satellite, using ballistic missile technology is a violation of a series of United Nations Security Council resolutions," Fumio Kishida said, adding, “This is also a major national security concern.”