N. Korea fires mis­sile that flies over Ja­pan

Ag­gres­sive test rat­tles al­ready anx­ious re­gion.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Fos­ter Klug

The pro­jec­tile, which fell into the ocean with­out caus­ing dam­age, marked an ag­gres­sive test flight that will in­crease area ten­sions.

North Korea fi­fired an uniden­ti­fi­fied pro­jec­tile from its cap­i­tal Pyon gy ang that flew over Ja­pan be­fore plung­ing into the north­ern Paci­fific Ocean, of­fiffic ials said Tues­day, an es­pe­cially ag­gres­sive test- flflight that will rat­tle an al­ready anx­ious re­gion.

Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staffff on Tues­day said the mis­sile trav­eled 1,677 miles and reached a max­i­mum height of 341 miles as it flflew over the north­ern Ja­panese is­land of Hokkaido.

The JCS said it is an­a­lyz­ing the launch with the United States and also that South Korea’s mil­i­tary has strength­ened its mon­i­tor­ing and prepa­ra­tion in case of fur­ther ac­tions from North Korea.

Ja­panese of­fi­cials said there was no dam­age to ships or any­thing else re­ported. Ja­pan’s NHK TV said the mis­sile sep­a­rated into three parts.

Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe told re­porters, “We will do our ut­most to pro­tect peo­ple’s lives.”

The launch comes days af­ter the North fi­fired what was as­sessed as three short­range bal­lis­tic mis­siles into the sea and a month af­ter its sec­ond flflight test of an in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile, which an­a­lysts say could reach deep into the U.S. main­land when per­fected.

No rth Korea t ypi ca lly re­acts with anger to U.S.- South Korean mil­i­tary drills, which are hap­pen­ing now, of­ten stag­ing weapons tests and re­leas­ing threats to Se oul and Wash­ing­ton i n its state-con­trolled me­dia. But an­i­mos­ity is higher than usual fol­low­ing threats by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump to un­leash “fi­fire and fury” on the North, and Py­ongyang’s stated plan to con­sider fi­fir­ing some of its mis­siles to­ward Guam.

Py­ongyang re gu l a rly ar­gues that the U.S.-South Korean mil­i­tary ex­er­cises are an in­va­sion re­hearsal.

The al­lies say they are de­fen­sive and meant to counter North Korean ag­gres­sion.

North Korea’s U.N. am­bas­sador, Ja Song Nam, wrote re­cently that the ex­er­cises are “provoca­tive and ag­gres­sive” when the Korean penin­sula is “like a time bomb.”

AHN YOUNG-JOON / AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

South Korean pro­test­ers stage a rally against the de­ploy­ment of an ad­vanced U.S. mis­sile de­fense sys­tem called Ter­mi­nal High-Alti­tude Area De­fense, or THAAD, near the U.S. Em­bassy in Seoul, South Korea, on Mon­day. North Korea fi­fired an uniden­ti­fi­fied pro­jec­tile that flflew over Ja­pan, of­fif­fi­cials said.

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