Aug. 30 (UPI) -- When North Korea test-fired a missile toward Japan early Tuesday morning, many sleeping residents experienced a very unusual, jarring awakening.
People on Hokkaido, Japan's second-largest island, were rattled by an urgent warning and sirens. The sirens went off at about 6 a.m. Tuesday. The missile was launched three minutes earlier, South Korea's military said.
The missile, believed to be a Hwasong-12 armament, ultimately splashed into the Pacific Ocean.
On Hokkaido and elsewhere, Japanese residents heard the sirens and received a J-Alert, a national government-run warning system.
"A missile has apparently been launched from North Korea. Please take refuge in a sturdy building or underground," the alert said.
Some residents, not knowing whether the alert signaled a real and imminent danger, said they were unnerved by the event.
"I had no idea where to go. I was confused, and a bit lost," a Hokkaido resident said.
Some residents captured the alarm on video and posted them to social media.