North Korea: Japan residents anxious after latest ballistic missile launch over the country

North Korea: Japan residents anxious after latest ballistic missile launch over the country

North Korea: Japan residents anxious after latest ballistic missile launch over the country

Updated 15 September 2017, 20:15 AEST

It's business as usual on the streets of Tokyo, but the latest North Korean missile launch over Japan has made people anxious and residents want their Government to act.

It's business as usual on the streets of Tokyo on Friday — the normal hustle and bustle of a late summer day.

Key points:

  • Residents in Japan were sent text message alerts warning them to take shelter after the ballistic missile launch
  • The missile came days after North Korea threatened to "sink" Japan over its support for UN sanctions
  • People on the street expressed fear, and said they wanted their Government to act

But the latest missile launch over Japan has made people anxious.

The missile was launched from a site near Pyongyang and travelled over the country before landing in the Pacific Ocean to the east of the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

Residents across a large swathe of Japan, which was thought to be in danger, were sent text message alerts.

The message read: "Government announcement. A missile was launched by North Korea. Escape inside a building or a basement."

One man said he took the children to the sturdiest room in the house.

"My phone suddenly made a big sound when I was getting ready so we went and waited in bathroom," he said.

A woman said her children were very worried.

"They asked me where the missile will land, I didn't know what to answer," she said.

It comes just a day after a direct threat from North Korea to use a nuclear bomb to destroy Japan because of its support for United Nations sanctions.

"The four islands of the archipelago in Japan should be sunken into the sea by the nuclear bomb of Juche [North Korea]. Japan is no longer needed to exist near us," the committee said in a statement carried by North Korea's official KCNA news agency.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe landed in Tokyo from an official trip overseas.

"The international community needs to come together and send a clear message to North Korea that it is threatening world peace with its provocations," he said.

South Korea responded with fire — sending ballistic missiles into the sea as a show of force.

The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson responded to the launch by saying that the sanctions passed this week by the UN Security Council were "the floor, not the ceiling".

A woman the ABC spoke to in Shibuya said she had relatives in Hokkaido and was worried about them when she heard the news.

"Ordinary people can't do anything about it so I want the Government to respond to this matter immediately," she said.

A man in his 50s said he could not see the crisis being resolved peacefully.

"North Korea doesn't learn its lesson but I don't think they'll stop," he said.

"I don't think this will be resolved unless their nation gets attacked and suffers greatly."