North Korea appears to have launched a military spy satellite late Tuesday, South Korea’s military reported, just hours ahead of a launch window set by Pyongyang.
Japan’s government also reported that North Korea fired what appeared to be a ballistic missile, while warning residents in Okinawa prefecture to take shelter immediately.
About 30 minutes later, Japan lifted the evacuation order, saying the missile had likely passed over Japan and fell into the Pacific Ocean at about 10:55 p.m. local time.
No more details were immediately available.
Earlier Tuesday, North Korea informed Japan that it plans to launch a satellite in the direction of the Yellow Sea and East China Sea during a nine-day window starting Wednesday.
If confirmed, it would be North Korea’s third attempted launch this year of a reconnaissance satellite. Previous attempts, in May and August, ended in failure.
Last year, North Korea said it planned to launch “a lot” of spy satellites into orbit to provide real-time information on what it called the “aggression troops” of the United States and its regional allies.