Tensions are high as North Korea has fired another missile over Japan’s northern Hokkaido into the Pacific Ocean on Friday, South Korean and Japanese authorities said.This further deepens tensed situation after the North’s recent test of its most powerful nuclear bomb.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the missile is said to have flown over Japan, landing in the Pacific Ocean about 2,000 km east of Hokkaido.
Warning announcements about the missile launch went off around 7 a.m. in parts of northern Japan, while a lot of residents received alerts on their phones and others saw warnings on TV telling them to take refuge.
Jim Mattis. U.S. Secretary of Defence said the launch put millions of Japanese into a duck and cover situation. The residents in northern Japan, however, appeared calm and went about their normal business after the second Korean launch in less than thirty days.
South Korea’s military says, the missile had an altitude of about 770 km (480 miles) and flew for approximately 19 minutes over a distance of 3,700 km (2,300 miles). It added that the missile traveled far enough to reach Guam, the U.S. Pacific territory.
Afte the launch, the U.S. military said it detected a single intermediate range ballistic missile but added that the missile did not pose any threat to North America or to its territory in Guam, which is about 3,400 km (2,110 miles) from North Korea.
North Korea had in the past threatened to launch missiles in an attack on Guam.
The Union of concerned scientist said in a statement that the range of this latest test was significant of note since North Korea has demonstrated that it could reach Guam with this missile. However, it added that the accuracy of the missile was still at an early stage of development, as such was low.making it difficult to destroy the U.S. Andersen Air Force Base on Guam.
U.S. officials have reiterated that Washington’s “ironclad” commitments to defending its allies were still in place, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is calling for “new measures” against the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea(DPRK) adding that the continued provocation only worsens North Korea’s diplomatic and economic isolation.
President Moon Jae-in of South Korea agrees with that view of new measures against Pyongyang and said dialogue with the North was not feasible at this point. He has ordered officials to prepare for possible new North Korean threats.