North Korea Fires Missile Towards Japan
Russia moves people from its shared 24-mile land border with North Korea. This resulted, or was triggered, by the launch of a missile over Japan yesterday; apparently Kim Jong-un’s latest warning to the US and Japan. Although Japan did not make an attempt to shoot down the missile, it issued a safety warning telling citizens in Hokkaido to take shelter in “a sturdy building or basement.” It is believed that this is the first time North Korea has fired, what is thought to be, a ballistic weapon over Japan.
Early evaluations indicate the missile flew 1,678 miles (more than 2,700km). The missile reached an altitude of 342 miles (550km). It is believed to have been the newly developed intermediate range weapon, the Hwasong-12. The missile fell into the North Pacific Ocean 1,180km off the Japanese coast after breaking into three pieces.
The US and Japanese forces have completed a joint drill in Hokkaido. Another annual exercise involving tens of thousands of South Korean and US military personnel is still under way in South Korea. North Korea sees these regular military drills involving the US as highly provocative, perceiving them as a rehearsal for an invasion. Korean Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the missile an “unprecedented” threat to his country. President Donald Trump said it was an act of “contempt.”
Prime Minister Abe said he had spoken to President Trump. They agreed to increase pressure on North Korea. Trump said, “The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear: this regime has signalled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior. Threatening and destabilising actions only increase the regime’s isolation in the region and among all nations of the world. All options are on the table.”