North Korea’s launch of a fourth rocket over Japanese territory brings its neighbour a mixture of evacuation drills and uncertainty

For the second time in just over a fortnight, millions of people in northern Japan were jolted awake by an alert warning them a North Korean missile was heading in their direction.

“Missile launch! Missile launch!” read the first of two messages, as the wail of sirens pierced the early-morning calm in a dozen prefectures, including the northern island of Hokkaido.

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