The rogue government of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un launched a ballistic missile over Japan’s northern Hokkaido island into the sea on Tuesday morning, prompting warnings to residents to take cover and drawing sharp reactions from Japanese, South Korean and US officials.

The test was done in response to the United States and South Korean annual military exercises in the South. These defensive exercises, which the North sees as a preparation for invasion resulted in a serious provocation of the war of words between North Korea and the rest of her neighbors. The missile launch caused Japanese citizens to shelter in place and disrupted train service.

North Korea has conducted dozens of ballistic missile tests under young leader Kim Jong Un, the most recent on Saturday, in defiance of U.N. sanctions, but firing projectiles over mainland Japan is rare.

“North Korea’s reckless action is an unprecedented, serious and a grave threat to our nation,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters.

North Korea remained defiant.

“The U.S. should know that it can neither browbeat the DPRK with any economic sanctions and military threats and blackmail nor make the DPRK flinch from the road chosen by itself,” North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun said, using the initials of the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

North Korea Launches Several Land-to-Ship Missiles, South Korea Delays THAAD

Read Next: North Korea Launches Several Land-to-Ship Missiles, South Korea Delays THAAD

The U.S., as well as Australian diplomats, are calling on China to exert more pressure on the government of Kim Jong Un. A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry stated that each country’s security concerns must be addressed in talks.

“The U.N. Security Council has put through several resolutions and sanctions have all along been put in place but everyone can see whether they’ve had actual results,” she said.

“On the one hand, sanctions have continued to be put in place via resolutions and on the other hand North Korea’s nuclear and missile launch process is still continuing.”

With tensions heightening in the region, firing a missile over another country’s territory is a dangerous and foolhardy act that will only result in disaster unless the Chinese step up and put a stop to these “tests.”

To read the entire article from Reuters, click here:

Photo courtesy Wikipedia