STORY: North Korea fired multiple ballistic missiles on Thursday (November 3).
They include one, that South Korean and Japanese officials believe, may have been an ICBM, the North’s longest-range ballistic missile, designed to carry a nuclear warhead to the other side of the planet.
Warnings blared in parts of Japan, telling residents to seek shelter indoors.
Japan’s defense chief later walked back the warning.
He said the government had lost track of the missile over the Sea of Japan.
Retired top naval officer Yoji Koda, told Reuters a loss of radar tracking on a projectile often means a failed launch.
At least two other missiles that were launched appeared to be short-range weapons.
Thursday’s launch comes a day after North Korea fired at least 23 missiles, the most it has fired in a single day, one that landed less than 40 miles off South Korea’s coast for the first time, triggering air raid warnings, and prompting South Korea to launch missiles of its own.
Tensions have simmered as Pyongyang has demanded the U.S. and South Korea stop large-scale military drills.
Some, North Korea alleges, simulate targeting the hermit kingdom.
The allies say the drills are defensive and are needed to counter threats from the North.