In this July 14, 2017, photo, elementary school students participate in an evacuation drill in Takaoka, Toyama prefecture, northwest of Tokyo, following repeated missile launches by North Korea. Cabinet Secretariat in charge of crisis management said Thursday, June 21, 2018, Japan plans to suspend civilian evacuation drills planned for the rest of the year amid easing tension following the U.S.-North Korea summit. (Kyodo News via AP)

Japan to cancel evacuation drills for NKorean missile threat

June 21, 2018 - 2:35 am

TOKYO (AP) — Japan plans to suspend the civilian evacuation drills it started last year while North Korea was repeatedly test-firing missiles near and over Japanese islands.

Nine drills to prepare residents in Japan for possible missile attacks were to be held later this year.

The Cabinet Secretariat in charge of crisis management said Thursday the official announcement of the suspension was underway and that recent diplomatic developments meant the prospect of strikes from North Korean missiles has subsided for now.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un promised at his summit with President Donald Trump to work toward a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

The planned suspension surfaced Thursday after officials in Tochigi prefecture confirmed a drill there next Tuesday had been called off at Tokyo's request.

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