11:34 GMT21 June 2021
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    The long-range rocket North Korea had launched earlier Sunday flew over Japan’s Okinawa prefecture, Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) – The Japanese government later announced that fragments of the rocket fell not far from the Japanese and South Korean territory.

    "We recorded its flight over the Okinawa airspace," the minister said.

    Earlier this week, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) confirmed it had received North Korea’s notification of plans to launch a satellite between February 8 and 25. Pyongyang later changed the launch dates by one day.

    Tensions over North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs escalated after Pyongyang said on January 6 that it had successfully carried out a hydrogen bomb test, triggering condemnation from the international community.

    North Korea previously reported a successful satellite launch in 2012, in violation of a UN Security Council resolution. The resolution bans Pyongyang from launching rockets that may be used as long-range ballistic missiles carrying nuclear warheads.

    Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), Okinawa, Japan
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