South Korea’s government reported that North Korea fired another missile over Japan from Sunan, which is located just north of Pyongyang, at 6:30AM local time. From CNN:
The missile flew about 3,700 kilometers (2,300 miles) and reached an altitude of 770 kilometers (480) miles. It landed in the Pacific Ocean, South Korea said.
The US Pacific Command said its initial assessment indicated that North Korea had fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile. There were conflicting reports from Japan on the type of missile fired, though the government stressed that analysis was ongoing.
In response to North Korea’s launch, South Korea carried out a “live fire drill” that included a missile launch which the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said was capable of striking the Sunan airport launch site near Pyongyang used for today’s launch.
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The missile stayed in the air for 17 minutes and went over Hokkaido, which is Japan’s northernmost island. It landed 1200 miles east into the Pacific Ocean. From The Washington Post:
Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, condemned the latest launch and reiterated that Japan would “not tolerate” North Korea’s actions. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had asked his government to “prepare for any contingency,” but Japan did not try to shoot down the missile.
In Washington, the White House said President Trump was briefed on the latest North Korean missile launch by his chief of staff, John F. Kelly.
On Thursday, a North Korean state agency had issued an alarming threat to Japan. “The four islands of the [Japanese] archipelago should be sunken into the sea by [our] nuclear bomb,” the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee said in a statement carried by the official news agency.
The committee also said that “Japan is no longer needed to exist near us.”
North Korea launched a missile over Japan in the same area back on August 28. That missile broke into three pieces before it fell into the ocean. A few days after that, the hermit kingdom tested a nuclear bomb. From Fox News:
. . . . The test was estimated to have a yield of 100 kilotons, meaning a blast that was four to five times more powerful than the explosion in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945, a South Korean defense official told the country’s Yonhap News Agency.
. . . . Just hours before Sunday’s test, photos emerged showing the North Korean dictator inspecting a new thermonuclear warhead in a lab. This would be North Korea’s sixth nuclear test and first since September 2016.
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