(CNN) – North Korea fired at least one ballistic missile into an apparent trajectory over Japan Tuesday morning local time, according to regional officials.
The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed the launch. According to a tweet published by the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office, “the projectile is believed to have been fired” over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, referring to a possible escalation of North Korean missile launches.
The tweet urged people to take shelter inside a building or underground.
“The aforementioned missile is believed to have crossed the Pacific Ocean at approximately 07:29 AM JST,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in another tweet.
The same statement urged civilians in Japan to “not approach anything suspicious that is found and immediately contact the police or fire department.”
According to CNN’s tally, Tuesday’s launch is North Korea’s 23rd missile launch this year, including ballistic and cruise missiles.
However, launches over Japan are rare; It was the last time that North Korea launched a ballistic missile over Japan September 15, 2017, When the projectile flew over the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan.
Youngjung Seo reported from Seoul and Emiko Jozuka from Tokyo.
“Bacon advocate. Certified creator. Twitteraholic. Tv junkie. Beer fanatic. Internet nerd. Passionate thinker. Reader.”