North Korea fires missile over Japan in “unprecedented threat”
August 29, 2017 -- North Korea has fired a missile over northern Japan in a move Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called an “unprecedented” threat to his country. The rocket, launched early on Tuesday Korean time, flew over Hokkaido island before crashing into the sea.
The launch is the first to cross over Japan since 2009. Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile travelled around 2,700km (1,677 miles) and reached a maximum height of 549km (341 miles). It appeared to be the North’s longest-ever missile test.
Tuesday’s launch of an Hwasong-12 intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) is North Korea’s 13th ballistic missile launch this year and comes a month after its second flight test of a KN-14 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which analysts say could reach deep into the U.S. mainland when perfected.
It will probably only take a year or two for Pyongyang to learn how to operate this missile reliably and accurately in combat, and to incorporate whatever design modifications are needed, according to 38 North of the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University.