Japan holds first North Korea civillian missile evacuation drill

     DRILL Residents gather at a public hall

The drill did not specify North Korea by name, only referring to "country X".

On Friday, sirens sounded and children ran for cover in Japan as citizens conducted their first evacuation drill amid fears over ballistic missile-armed North Korea, Reuters reports.

American, Japanese, and South Korean forces are now conducting exercises to intercept North Korean missiles in flight, South Korea is deploying the American THAAD missile defense system, and Japan has been considering improvements to its own missile intercept capabilities.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe branded the March 6 missile launches by Kim Jong Un's regime as "an extremely risky action".

About 100 people took part in the drills, which included transmission of information across "J-Alert", a national emergency alert system that can transmit urgent messages nationwide. "The government is now examining the damage".

Residents of the largely rural peninsula jutting into the ocean about 450 km (280 miles) north of the capital, Tokyo, made their way to a designated evacuation center equipped with emergency kits and protective gear.

Security supervisor Osamu Saito, who works in Akita prefecture which encompasses Oga, said, "Anything can happen these days, and it's even more true when we cannot anticipate the behavior of our neighboring countries".

North Korea is also developing nuclear-tipped missiles, in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions and sanctions, and conducting nuclear tests in what US Secretary of State Rex.

On Friday Yoshihide Suga, the Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary, told reporters that the public would benefit from the exercise, making them prepared for an emergency. If it did actually happen, I don't think we can do what we practiced today.

The drill came as the North continues to make advances in its missile and nuclear weapons programs, having carried out a number of launches over the past year, with its latest test-firing earlier this month.

A total of 110 residents, including primary school students, participated in the drill, an Oga city official said.

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