North Korea has fired a ballistic missile over Japan for the first time in five years, a hugely provocative move that ramps up simmering tensions in the eastern Pacific. North Korea has fired an unidentified ballistic missile over Japan, prompting Tokyo to encourage residents to evacuate. Around 8am, the prime minister's office then tweeted that 'a projectile that appears to be a North Korean ballistic missile has likely flown over Japan'. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missle appeared to have been an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) launched from North Korea's Jagang Province. They issued a joint statement condemning the 'provocative nuclear rhetoric and ballistic missile launches' by North Korea.