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 By AAP

Australia taking 'precautions' after North Korea fires missile over Japan

The Australian national team is taking "appropriate precautions" after North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan's north on Tuesday morning.

The Socceroos are currently in Tokyo, preparing for Thursday's crucial World Cup qualifier against Japan at Saitama Stadium.

In a sign of how impenetrable the team bubble can be for professional footballers, attacker Robbie Kruse was totally unaware of the developments when asked about it.

"To be honest I didn't even know it happened," Kruse told reporters.

North Korea's latest missile test -- described by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as a "serious and grave threat" to the country -- has escalated tensions in the region but it is not expected to affect Thursday's match or the lead-up.

While North Korea has conducted numerous missile tests under leader Kim Jong-un, it has not fired one over mainland Japan for nearly 20 years.

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A Football Federation Australia spokesperson said team management was keeping in regular contact with the Australian government.

"Security assessments are made for all Socceroos matches at home and abroad with appropriate precautions in place," the spokesperson said.

"When overseas and wherever necessary Socceroos management liaises with Australian Government representatives on matters of security."

Residents in Japan's northern-most main island of Hokkaido -- more than 1000km away from Tokyo -- awoke to air raid sirens on Tuesday and were warned to take cover as the missile approached.

It then broke into three pieces and landed into the sea approximately 1180 km east of Japan.

The Socceroos are no strangers to political unease, having encountered it before while travelling through Asia.

Two years ago they were in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, when a minor insurgency broke out and 10 people were killed, prompting the United States embassy in the impoverished central Asian nation's capital to shut.

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