North Korea fires missile over Japan; Citizens are urged to take cover.

North Korea has fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile that flew over Japan before landing in the northern Pacific Ocean.

It was the second aggressive test-flight over the territory of the close US ally in less than a month and it followed the sixth and most powerful nuclear test by North Korea to date on September 3.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile travelled about 3,700 kilometers (2,300 miles) while reaching a maximum height of 770 kilometers (478 miles). The missile was launched from Sunan, the site of Pyongyang's international airport.

It is believed to be the longest-range ballistic missile test and the distance it flew is a slightly greater distance than between the North Korean capital and the American air base in Guam.

Sirens sounded and alerts were issued in Japan as residents were warned to take shelter while the missile passed over Hoakkaido.

 "We can never tolerate that North Korea trampled on the international community's strong, united resolve toward peace that has been shown in UN resolutions and went ahead again with this outrageous act," Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, said.

Jim Mattis, US Defence Secretary, called the latest missile launch a reckless act and "put millions of Japanese in duck and cover".

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged China and Russia to do more to rein in North Korea. 

"China and Russia must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own," Mr Tillerson said in a statement.

North Korea last month used the airport to fire a Hwasong-12 intermediate range missile that flew over northern Japan.

The North then declared it a "meaningful prelude" to containing the U.S. Pacific island territory of Guam and the start of more ballistic missile launches toward the Pacific Ocean.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga denounced North Korea's latest launch, saying he was conveying "strong anger" on behalf of the Japanese people.

Mr Suga said Japan "will not tolerate the repeated and excessive provocations."

Source: telegraph.co.uk