Tokyo held its first missile evacuation drill Monday to prepare for the ongoing threat from North Korea.
Residents huddled in an amusement park basement and a subway station while others ducked and covered their heads at a community center.
Loudspeakers urged people to shelter indoors or go underground during the exercise, based on the scenario of an incoming North Korean missile.
North Korea has twice launched ballistic missiles over northern Japan and test-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles in trajectories that fell inside Japanese exclusive economic waters.
“An advisory about a missile launch was just issued. Everyone, please stay calm and seek shelter in the basement. Those who are already indoors, please stay there,” an announcement at the Tokyo Dome amusement park said. A security guard ran across the complex, shouting “A missile was launched!”
More than 20 evacuation drills have been conducted around Japan since last year amid threats from North Korea, but Monday’s activity was the first missile evacuation drill in the capital.
Protesters in the South Korean capital Seoul burned a large photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Monday, during a visit by the leader of a popular girl band from the North.
Hyon Song-wol, a rumored ex-girlfriend of Kim, is a director of the Moranbong Band, reportedly created at the behest of Kim, the South’s Yonhap news agency reported.
Hyon, who heads the North’s Samjiyon Orchestra, is leading a seven-member delegation to the South to inspect potential venues for North Korean musical performances after Pyongyang agreed to join the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, next month and the Paralympics in March.
The North plans to send a 140 musicians, singers and dancers to perform in Seoul, 80 miles west of the Olympic site, and Gangneung, a city hosting some of the events.
Hyon arrived at the Seoul railway station on the second day of a two-day visit Monday, where 150 to 200 protesters rallied against the visit.
“Pyeongchang Olympics? We oppose Kim Jong Un’s Pyongyang Olympics,” they chanted, referring to the North Korean capital.
The two countries will march in the opening ceremony behind the same flag, and the women’s ice hockey team will be the first with players from both countries.