N Korea in­creases ten­sion with new mis­sile over Ja­pan

Amid es­ca­lat­ing re­gional ten­sion, north Korea fired a sec­ond mis­sile that flew over Ja­pan in less than a month

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Front Page -

FIR­ING the sec­ond mis­sile that flew over Ja­pan, North Korea has deep­ened the cur­rent cri­sis. Like many pow­ers, Turkey con­demned the lat­est bal­lis­tic mis­sile launch, which was the long­est ever fired by North Korea, say­ing that it would de­te­ri­o­rate in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity.

north Korea fired a mis­sile that flew over Ja­pan’s north­ern Hokkaido far out into the Pa­cific Ocean on Friday, 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 2,000 km (1,240 miles) east of Hokkaido, Ja­panese Chief Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary Yoshi­hide Suga told re­porters. Warn­ing sirens blared in north­ern Ja­pan on Friday when North Korea launched a mis­sile and again when it passed over the Ja­panese is­land of Hokkaido as res­i­dents were just start­ing their day.

Com­mu­nity loud­speak­ers in­structed peo­ple to get in­side any build­ing and go to the base­ment. TV sta­tions re­layed the warn­ings and res­i­dents of sev­eral pre­fec­tures re­ceived the emer­gency mes­sages on their cell­phones. Trains and sub­ways on Hokkaido briefly stopped for safety checks.

If prac­tice makes per­fect, peo­ple in north­ern Ja­pan got an­other chance to im­prove on how they would pro­tect them­selves from a fu­ture war­head.

It’s the sec­ond time Ja­pan’s emer­gency J-Alert sys­tem kicked into ac­tion in less than a month, fol­low­ing an ear­lier North Korean mis­sile fly­over on Aug. 29. North Korea has launched dozens of mis­siles un­der young leader Kim Jong Un as it ac­cel­er­ates a weapons pro­gramme de­signed to give it the abil­ity to tar­get the United States with a pow­er­ful, nu­clear-tipped mis­sile. Two tests in July were for long-range in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­siles ca­pa­ble of reach­ing at least parts of the U.S. main­land.

U.S. Sec­re­tary of De­fense Jim Mat­tis said the launch “put mil­lions of Japa- nese 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 770 km (480 miles) and flew for about 19 min­utes over a dis­tance of about 3,700 km (2,300 miles), ac­cord­ing to South Korea’s mil­i­tary - far enough to reach the U.S. Pa­cific ter­ri­tory of Guam.

The U.S. mil­i­tary said soon af­ter the launch it had de­tected a sin­gle in­ter­me­di­ate range bal­lis­tic mis­sile but the mis­sile did not pose a threat to North Amer­ica or the U.S. Pa­cific ter­ri­tory of Guam, which lies 3,400 km (2,110 miles) from North Korea. Py­ongyang had pre­vi­ously threat­ened to launch mis­siles to­wards Guam.

“The range of this test was sig­nif­i­cant since North Korea demon­strated that it could reach Guam with this mis­sile,” the Union of Con­cerned Sci­en­tists said in a state­ment. How­ever, it said the ac­cu­racy of the mis­sile, still at an early stage of devel­op­ment, was low so it would be dif­fi­cult to de­stroy the U.S. An­der­sen Air Force Base on Guam. U.S. 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 and said di­a­logue with the North was im­pos­si­ble at this point. He or­dered of­fi­cials to an­a­lyse and pre­pare for pos­si­ble new North Korean threats, in­clud­ing elec­tro-mag­netic pulse and bio­chem­i­cal at­tacks, a spokesman said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves dur­ing a mil­i­tary pa­rade in Py­ongyang.

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