North Korea fires ballistic missile, Japan orders evacuation in Hokkaido

North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Thursday, April 13, which triggered an alert in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, whose inhabitants were asked to take shelter

North Korea fires ballistic missile, Japan orders evacuation in Hokkaido

North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Thursday, April 13, which triggered an alert in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, whose inhabitants were asked to take shelter.

"Evacuate immediately. Evacuate immediately,” the Japanese government ordered in a message, asking residents of Hokkaido to take shelter in buildings or underground, and specifying that the missile was to fall around 8 a.m. (1 a.m. in France).

Shrill sirens sounded in Sapporo and cities on the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan. The Japanese Coast Guard and local officials in Hokkaido, however, advised soon after that there was no danger. "After confirming the information, there is no possibility that the missile will fall on Hokkaido or nearby areas," said the Asahikawa City Hall in Hokkaido, citing the emergency network of the national government

The Japanese Coast Guard, for its part, indicated that the fall of the projectile on the territory of Japan "is no longer a possibility". The Japanese public media, NHK, also claimed that the projectile had probably already ended its course in the waters of the Sea of ​​Japan, outside Japanese territory.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's office had issued a Twitter alert: "North Korea has launched what appears to be a ballistic missile."

South Korea's Yonhap news agency, citing Seoul's military, had earlier reported that North Korea had launched an undetermined type ballistic missile towards the Sea of ​​Japan.

"Irreversible" nuclear power

North Korea has stepped up weapons tests in recent months, heightening tension with Seoul and Washington, which for their part have strengthened their military cooperation and carried out large joint maneuvers in the region.

On Monday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called for increasing his country's deterrence capabilities to counter "escalating maneuvers by US imperialists and treacherous South Korean puppets to unleash a war of 'aggression,' according to the official KCNA news agency.

Since March 23, Pyongyang has claimed to have conducted three tests of an underwater nuclear attack drone capable of "producing a large-scale radioactive tsunami".

The regime also said it launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on March 16.

In 2022, North Korea declared itself an "irreversible" nuclear power, thus burying any negotiations on the denuclearization of the country.