NKorea fires mis­sile over Ja­pan


SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea fired a bal­lis­tic mis­sile from its cap­i­tal Py­ongyang that flew over Ja­pan be­fore plung­ing into the north­ern Pa­cific Ocean, of­fi­cials said Tues­day, an ag­gres­sive test-flight over the ter­ri­tory of a close U.S. ally that sends a clear mes­sage of de­fi­ance as Wash­ing­ton and Seoul con­duct war games nearby.

Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the mis­sile trav­eled around 1,677 miles and reached a max­i­mum height of 341 miles as it flew over the north­ern Ja­panese is­land of Hokkaido. The launch, which ap­pears to be the first to cross over Ja­pan since 2009, will rat­tle a re­gion wor­ried that each new mis­sile test puts the North a step closer to­ward its goal of an arse­nal of nu­clear mis­siles that can re­li­ably tar­get the United States. It ap­peared to be

the North’s long­est-ever mis­sile test, but South Korean of­fi­cials couldn’t im­me­di­ately con­firm.

North Korean mis­sile launches have been hap­pen­ing at an unusu­ally fast pace this year, and some an­a­lysts be­lieve the North could have vi­able long-range nu­clear mis­siles be­fore the end of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s first term in early 2021.

The South Korean mil­i­tary said it is an­a­lyz­ing the launch with the United States and has strength­ened its mon­i­tor­ing and prepa­ra­tion in case of fur­ther ac­tions from North Korea. An­a­lysts spec­u­late the North may have tested a new in­ter­me­di­ate-range mis­sile that Py­ongyang re­cently threat­ened to fire to­ward the U.S. ter­ri­tory of Guam, which hosts a ma­jor mil­i­tary base.

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