North Korea Sends Missile Flying Over Japan (Updating Live)
The act is a massive provocation that could have wide ranging repercussions.
South Korea has confirmed that North Korea has fired a missile that has traveled over Japan. At this point we have no idea what type of missile this is or its destination. The launch comes as tensions have soared on the Korean Peninsula over the last month following the declaration of ICBM capability by North Korea and the now infamous "fire and fury" remarks made by President Donald Trump.
The missile flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido and continued to track out into the Pacific. The launch resulted in alerts being sent to the Japanese population to take cover. North Korea has not tested missiles on shallow down-range optimized arcs for some time, instead using steep parabolic trajectories that keep the missiles from leaving the waters off its own shores.
Kim Jong Un also said he would "wait and see" before ordering a major intermediate-range ballistic missile show of force by firing missiles into the waters off Guam. Regardless of if this missile nears Guam or not, it is a massive provocation and escalation to say the least.
UPDATE 3pm PST: Japan says the missile broke into three parts before impacting the water some 700 miles east of Hokkaido. It is not clear if this was a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) test or a technical failure.
We will be updating this post live as more info becomes available.
UPDATE 3:17pm PST: Here is the official telemetry data according to South Korea military via Yonhap News-2,700 km down-range at apogee of 550km.
UPDATE 3:35pm PST: CNN's reporter in Pyongyang said the missile was launched from Pyongyang Sunan International Airport.
UPDATE 4:00pm PST: Here is the warning that followed sirens in Japan as the missile approached-
UPDATE 5:12pm PST: This is the first time a North Korean missile has flown over Japan since 2009. Now that Pyongyang has escalated to firing missiles over major population centers in Japan we could see more tests aimed at validating North Korea's missile arsenal down-range abilities. All of North Korea's new missile systems have not been tested in this manner. The big question is will the U.S., South Korea, and Japan standby to watch these tests occur yet alone the one that was executed today?
UPDATE 6:30pm PST: UN Security Council meeting planned for tomorrow as the rhetoric starts to elevate.
Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com