Foreign Minister Penny Wong has slammed North Korea‘s launch of a ballistic missile over Japanese territory as a “reckless and unacceptable act”.

The launch was the first of its kind to overfly Japan in five years, and was described by Senator Wong as an act that “threatens the security of our neighbours and partners and undermines the stability of the Indo-Pacific”.

Japan has expressed fury over the incident, with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida heavily criticising the move.

“This outrageous act follows recent repeated ballistic missile launches and we strongly condemn it,” Mr Kishida said while addressing local media.

“In response to this incident, I issued instructions to confirm if any damage has resulted from falling objects, to collect and analyse information thoroughly, and to work in cooperation with relevant countries.”

Tokyo activated its missile alert system and issued a rare warning for people to take shelter in two northern regions of the country in response to the missile.

The missile flew over Japan at around 7.30am local time before landing in the Pacific Ocean outside of the country‘s exclusive economic zone.

“North Korea appears to have launched a missile. Please evacuate into buildings or underground,” a text message sent to residents in Japan‘s north read.

Senator Wong said that Pyongyang continued to “show blatant disregard for multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions prohibiting its dangerous ballistic missile and weapons of mass destruction programs”.

“We continue to be gravely concerned by North Korea’s apparent readiness to undertake a seventh nuclear weapons test.”

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