North Korea on Tuesday fired a ballistic missile at Japan for the first time in five years. In this way, Japan was eventually forced to issue evacuation notices and suspend trains during the flight of the nuclear-capable weapon that could reach the US territory of Guam and beyond.
The launch was North Korea’s most provocative weapons demonstration of the year 2022. In this way, North Korea becomes one of the countries in the world to have an arsenal of nuclear weapons.
And, as is well known, nuclear weapons can cause unimaginable damage, such as those seen at the end of World War II and Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The United States condemned North Korea’s “dangerous and reckless decision” to launch what it described as a “long-range ballistic missile” at Japan.
“This action is destabilizing and shows (North Korea’s) blatant disregard for United Nations Security Council resolutions and international security standards,” he said.
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol previously said the missile had an intermediate range, while Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said it is believed to have an intermediate or longer range. If Tuesday’s launch involves a long-range missile, it could be a test of a weapon aimed at the US, some experts say according to Japan Today.
The missile over Japan and the warnings issued
Japanese authorities have warned residents of the northeast regions to evacuate to shelters, in the first “J-alert” alert since 2017.
That year, North Korea fired an intermediate-range Hwasong-12 missile. The launch happened twice over Japan within a period of weeks.
Now, in 2022, as a safety measure, trains were suspended in the Hokkaido and Aomori regions until the government issued a subsequent warning that the North Korean missile appeared to have landed in the Pacific. In the city of Sapporo, capital of Hokkaido Prefecture, the main island in northern Japan, subways have also been temporarily suspended, with stations full of morning commuters.
According to South Korean and Japanese estimates, the missile traveled about 4,500-4,600 kilometers at a maximum altitude of 970-1,000 kilometers. Hamada said the missile had landed in the Pacific, about 3,200 kilometers off the northern coast of Japan, and that there were no reports of damage to Japanese aircraft and ships.
Both South Korea and Japan have called emergency national security council meetings to discuss the launch. The US said national security adviser Jake Sullivan consulted with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts on their appropriate and robust responses.
Regardless of what happens, the fact is that North Korea already has nuclear weapons and can strike when it feels threatened by other nations.
Source: Japan Today