Published: 2017-08-29 11:16
Last Updated: 2017-08-29 11:33
Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe called the incident an "unprecedented threat", after North Korea fired a missile earlier this morning over Hokkaido island, before it crashed into the sea.
The UN Security Council is set to hold an emergency meeting in response to the incident.
North Korea has been conducting a series of missile tests recently. However, this is the first time the country fired an allegedly ballistic weapon over Japan.
No effort on behalf of Japan was made to shoot down the missile, but safety warnings were announced by the government telling residents of the island to take shelter in "a sturdy building or basement".
The missile fell into the North Pacific Ocean 1,180km off the Japanese coast after breaking into three pieces, and the BBC reports the weapon appears to be the first powerful enough to carry a nuclear warhead.
Earlier this month, North Korea threatened to fire ballistic missiles over the U.S. territory of Guam in the Pacific. U.S. President Donal Trump praised Kim Jung-Un after backing down from the decision, but tensions were renewed since U.S. and South Korean military forces started conducting joint-military exercises.
The military drills are usually conducted in August, and according to the BBC are usually followed by some form of retaliation from Pyongyang. Last year, the country conducted a nuclear test shortly after the military drills in its southern neighbor.
Abe stated that North Korea's "reckless action is an unprecedented, serious and a grave threat to our nation", which "greatly damages regional peace and security".
He added that the Japanese government was doing its utmost to protect people's lives.