N Korea sends rocket flying far over Japan
NORTH Korea fired a missile that flew over Japan’s northern Hokkaido far out into the Pacific Ocean yesterday, South Korean and Japanese officials said, deepening tensions after Pyongyang’s recent test of its most powerful nuclear bomb.
The missile flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific about 2 000km east of Hokkaido, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.
Warning announcements about the missile blared at about 7am in parts of northern Japan, while many residents received alerts on their mobile phones or saw warnings on TV telling them to seek refuge.
US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis said the launch “put millions of Japanese into duck and cover”, although residents in northern Japan appeared calm and went about their business as normal after the second such launch in less than a month.
The missile reached an altitude of about 770km and flew for about 19 minutes over a distance of about 3 700km, according to South Korea’s military – far enough to reach the US Pacific territory of Guam.
The US military said the missile did not pose a threat to North America or the US Pacific territory of Guam, which is 3 400km from North Korea.
Pyongyang had previously threatened to launch missiles towards Guam. US officials repeated Washington’s “ironclad” commitments to the defence of its allies.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for “new measures” against North Korea and said the “continued provocations only deepen North Korea’s diplomatic and economic isolation” .
South Korean President Moon Jae-in echoed that view. — Reuters