Tokyo subway halt for 10 minutes after North Korea test-fires ballistic missile

Tokyo: Tokyo's main subway system suspended its service for 10 minutes this morning, shortly after North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile. It was the first time Tokyo Metro took such a step,  following the adoption of new rules this month to stop trains and check for safety in response to news of any missile launches that can potentially hit Japan, local media said.

File image of King Jong-un. AFP

File image of King Jong-un. AFP

Trains were stopped at 6:07 am local time after the launch which happened around 2030 GMT, according to national broadcaster NHK. Around 13,000 people were affected by the halt in service, Kyodo News said.

"It (subway suspension) was a decision of the operator," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a briefing. "We ask that people stay calm and stay informed. At this
time, the latest incident has absolutely no impact on Japan," he said.

North Korea test-fired the missile in apparent defiance of a concerted US push for tougher international sanctions to curb Pyongyang's nuclear weapons ambitions.
The missile launch, which apparently failed, came as Japanese people began the annual Golden Week holiday season.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called Pyongyang's move "absolutely unacceptable" and a "grave threat to our country", speaking in London at the end of a three-day visit to Russia and Britain.

The launch came just hours after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned the UN Security Council of "catastrophic consequences" if the international community - most notably China - failed to pressure the North into abandoning its weapons programme.

Updated Date: Apr 29, 2017 17:37 PM

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