North Korea has fired a missile over northern Japan in a move Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called an “unprecedented” threat to his country.

The missile, launched early on Tuesday Korean time, flew over Hokkaido island before crashing into the sea.

The missile was fired just before 6 a.m. in Japan.

The launch of the missile set off series of warnings in the northern part of the country urging people to seek shelter via messages on their mobile phones and there was panic among residents.

According to reports, the missile flew over Erimomisaki, on the northern island of Hokkaido, and broke into three pieces before falling into the Pacific Ocean, about 1,180 kilometers (733 miles) off the Japanese coast.

The missile was in flight for about 14 minutes, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at an emergency press conference. “There is no immediate report of the fallen objects and no damage to the ships and aircraft,” he added.

Japanese Prime Minister condemned the launch as a reckless act saying,‘we have fully grasped the movement of the missile immediately after their launch and have been taking every possible effort to protect the lives of people. It is a serious and grave threat which impairs the safety and peace of the region‘.

The UN Security Council is expected to hold an emergency meeting in response.

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