Photo/IllutrationChief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga addresses a news conference at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo on April 29. (Wataru Sekita)

Tokyo Metro Co. temporarily suspended services on all its subway lines in central Tokyo early April 29 in response to a missile launch by North Korea.

It was the first time that the operator has taken such precautions to confirm the safety of passengers and trains. Services were disrupted for 10 minutes, and an estimated 13,000 passengers were affected.

Subway trains ground to a halt at 6:07 a.m., and operations resumed at 6:17 a.m. after the all-clear was established.

The missile apparently fell within North Korea.

Tobu Railway Co. also suspended its Tobu Tojo Line operations linking Tokyo with Saitama Prefecture for about 10 minutes from 6:07 a.m.

West Japan Railway Co. (JR West) also suspended its operation of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line for 11 minutes.

According to JR West’s Kanazawa branch office, bullet trains stopped from 6:08 a.m. until 6:19 a.m. on the section between Kanazawa Station in Ishikawa Prefecture and Joetsu-Myoko Station in Niigata Prefecture.

East Japan Railway Co. and Central Japan Railway Co. did not halt their operations of Shinkansen and conventional train services.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga held an unscheduled news conference in the prime minister's office that morning and told reporters that North Korea had apparently launched a ballistic missile from an inland area and that it dropped down inside North Korea.

Suga said a ballistic missile launch, if confirmed, would be in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

"As our country cannot tolerate North Korea's repeated provocations, we lodged a strong protest,” Suga said.

He added that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was staying in London, immediately contacted him with three instructions.

The first was “to make the utmost efforts to gather and analyze information and provide it to the people quickly and appropriately.” The second was “to confirm the safety of aircraft and ships.” The third was “to take sufficient measures to prepare for contingencies.”