NHK also reported that Japan took no action to shoot down the projectile, according to CNBC.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that it appeared that a ballistic missile was fired and that it flew over the country.

South Korea's Yonhap, citing the military, said that Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile which flew through Japan's airspace.

Read alsoRussia tried to conceal own participation in DPRK missile program by blaming Ukraine – TurchynovA South Korean military official told NBC News that the projectile was fired around 05:57 local time on Tuesday.

NHK said that the government has urged people in Tohoku to take refuge in solid buildings or underground shelters.