(National Sentinel) Korea: Tokyo expressed its extreme displeasure with North Korea after Pyongyang tested another ICBM that sailed directly over Japan Thursday, raising anew fears that a shooting war is imminent on the peninsula.
As reported by the UK’s Daily Mail, yesterday’s test also proves another North Korean capability: The missile traveled an estimated 2,300 miles, or about 200 miles farther than necessary to hit the U.S. territory of Guam, when the Pentagon has significant military assets. The missile test on Aug. 29, which also flew across Japan, only traveled about 1,700 miles.
The Daily Mail:
The missile flew over the northern island of Hokkaido, where thousands were awoken by air-raid sirens for the second time in just three weeks, and landed some 1,240 miles off the cape of Erimo just before 7am local time (10pm Thursday GMT).
The rocket, believed to be a intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), flew for about 19 minutes over a distance of about 2,300 miles, according to South Korea’s military – far enough to reach the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, which is 2,100 miles from North Korea.
In response, Tokyo said it won’t tolerate further provocations.
Japan’s defence minister, Itsunori Onodera, said he believes Pyongyang’s objective is to be able to strike Guam, at least for the time being, as a way of keeping the U.S. at bay.
“We cannot assume North Korea’s intention, but given what it has said, I think it has Guam in mind,” he said.
Residents on the island of Hokkaido were awakened overnight to a loudspeaker saying, “Missile launch! Missile launch! A missile appears to have been launched from North Korea. Take cover in a building or underground!”
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, angered by the latest launch, called for the UN to toughen — and then enforce — sanctions against North Korea, which isn’t likely to do much as sanctions in the past have failed to prevent Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear development.
“We can never tolerate that North Korea trampled on the international community’s strong, united resolve toward peace that has been shown in UN resolutions and went ahead again with this outrageous act,” Abe said.
“If North Korea continues to walk down this path, it has no bright future. We must make North Korea understand this,” he added.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, meanwhile, has called for a “global response” to North Korea’s provocations.
“North Korea’s missile launch is another reckless breach of UN resolutions – a major threat to international peace and security which demands a global response,” he said.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued an unusually aggressive statement directed at Russia and China, imploring both countries to do more to rein in their feisty neighbor.
“China supplies North Korea with most of its oil. Russia is the largest employer of North Korean forced labor,” the statement said. “China and Russia must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own.”
U.S. Pacific Command, which monitored the test, noted: “Our commitment to the defense of our allies, including the Republic of Korea and Japan, in the face of these threats, remains ironclad. We remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies from any attack or provocation.”
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