NK leader sig­nals more mis­sile tests

The Korea Times - - NATIONAL - By Kim Rahn rah­nita@ktimes.com

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sig­naled more mis­sile launches into the Pa­cific Ocean af­ter a suc­cess­ful test of a Hwa­song-12 in­ter­me­di­ate-range bal­lis­tic mis­sile (IRBM) that flew over Ja­pan, Tues­day, ac­cord­ing to Py­ongyang’s state me­dia, Wed­nes­day.

The Hwa­song-12 flew about 2,700 kilo­me­ters over Ja­pan be­fore land­ing in the Pa­cific Ocean. This was the first time that North Korea has fired a bal­lis­tic mis­sile over Ja­pan.

“The mis­sile fir­ing, which closely re­sem­bled ac­tual war­fare, is the first step of our mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions in the Pa­cific and a sig­nif­i­cant pre­lude to check the U.S. ter­ri­tory of Guam,” the North’s Korea Cen­tral News Agency (KCNA) quoted Kim as say­ing.

“We need to carry out more bal­lis­tic mis­sile tests to­ward the Pa­cific, so that we can de­velop strate­gic forces more prac­ti­cally.”

His com­ments showed the North could test-fire mis­siles to­ward not only ar­eas around the Korean Penin­sula but also those near Ja­pan, Guam and other Pa­cific re­gions.

Why Aug. 29 was D-Day

The KCNA said the coun­try chose Aug. 29 for the mis­sile launch to in­tim­i­date Ja­pan on the oc­ca­sion of the 107th an­niver­sary of Ja­pan’s an­nex­a­tion of Korea in 1910.

“We car­ried out a bold op­er­a­tion, which flab­ber­gasted the bru­tal Ja­panese is­lan­ders, on bloody Aug. 29, the day when the hu­mil­i­at­ing treaty of an­nex­a­tion was an­nounced 107 years ago,” the KCNA said.

Ac­cord­ing to the an­nex­a­tion treaty, Korea lost its sovereignty, and re­mained un­der Ja­panese colo­nial rule un­til Aug. 15, 1945.

The news agency said Kim gave de­tailed or­ders about the test, in­clud­ing the tra­jec­tory and the tar­get, adding the mis­sile hit a tar­geted lo­ca­tion in the North Pa­cific af­ter fly­ing over the Oshima Penin­sula and Cape Erimo on Hokkaido.

“The test did not have any im­pact on neigh­bor­ing coun­tries’ safety,” it said.

The re­port con­firmed the mis­sile was a Hwa­song-12, an IRBM which the North ear­lier threat­ened to use to strike the U.S. ter­ri­tory of Guam.

It said the test was a show-of-force against the on­go­ing South Korea-U.S. joint mil­i­tary ex­er­cise, Ulchi Free­dom Guardian (UFG). It was also the first launch from near Py­ongyang, as the mis­sile was fired from Su­nan air­port, the main gate­way to the North Korean cap­i­tal.

“The U.S. re­sponded with a bel­li­cose joint mil­i­tary ex­er­cise to our warn­ing that we would watch its con­duct. The mis­sile test is only the be­gin­ning of the coun­try’s stern coun­ter­mea­sures against UFG,” the re­port said.

“As we ear­lier de­clared, we will keep watch­ing the U.S. con­duct, and de­cide on our next ac­tion ac­cord­ing to it.”

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