Audio: Air traffic control recording of the moment pilots near Japan hear of North Korean missile launch

Audio capturing the moment pilots flying in and around Japan first heard of North Korea's Tuesday missile launch has been revealed.

In the audio, which was streamed live by and tracked down by Newshub, a Tokyo-based air traffic controller gives a warning to all pilots to be aware of "an object" in the skies around them.

That object was a ballistic missile, believed to be capable of carrying a nuclear weapon.

"Attention all aircraft, Tokyo control. Ahhh... object, potentially ballistic missile, has been launched from North Korea. Use caution. Object, potentially ballistic missile," the controller announced to potentially hundreds of aircraft in the Japan region.

The Japanese government urgently warned people to take shelter from potential falling debris after the missile was launched by North Korea.

It was launched just after 7.30am local time, just as commuters were packing buses, trains and planes too.

Pilots are often warned to be on the lookout for other airborne objects, usually balloons or other aircraft, but not missiles.

About 20 minutes later the same air traffic controller updated all pilots that the item had crashed into the Pacific Ocean and called for normal operations to resume.

"Ballistic missile from North Korea fall into sea surrounding Japan. Resume normal operations," they said.

Normal operations, following a warning that was anything but.