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North Korea fires suspected rocket after warning of satellite launch

SEOUL — North Korea fired an unidentified projectile on a southern path off its west coast on Monday, South Korea's military said, hours after Pyongyang said it would be launching a satellite some time before June 4.

The Japanese government issued an emergency warning on Monday for residents in the south to take cover from the possible threat of a North Korean missile, before lifting the warning and saying it was not expected to fly over Japanese territory.

Japan said over its J-Alert broadcasting system that North Korea appeared to have fired a missile, sending out the warning to residents in southern prefecture of Okinawa.

North Korea had earlier in the day notified Japan that it plans to launch a satellite between May 27 and June 4.

The launch would likely be the nuclear-armed North's attempt to place a second spy satellite into orbit. After several failed attempts that ended when the rockets crashed, North Korea successfully placed its first such satellite in orbit in November. — Reuters