In the early morning hours of 29 August 2017, North Korea launched yet another in a long series of money-burning missiles. The thing that sets this one apart from the most recent lot, is that this one actually went over Japan.
The Japanese Ministry of Defense stated that the JSDF did acquire and track this missile, but did not lock with intent to engage.
This missile launched from just outside Pyongyang and crossed over Japan’s northernmost Home Island, Hokkaido. Upon reaching Cape Erimo (the southeasternmost “corner” of Hokkaido), the missile split into three parts. The furthest-reaching projectile landed 1180km east of Erimo. (Which is further than it traveled to even get to Japan.)
The J-Alert system pinged everyone in northern Japan, giving them the heads-up, and giving them instructions (which reiterated previously disseminated instructions: seek shelter).
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke on the phone to President Donald Trump for 40 minutes. And the Chief Cabinet Secretary called it an “unprecedented threat,” which it ain’t.
Though it is a big deal that this mid-range missile managed to completely cross over Japan and drop way the hell out in the Pacific, it’s not a first. North Korea dropped a three-stage Unha rocket into the Pacific Ocean east of Japan when the third stage failed. That launch, though not a missile [in the destructive sense], was an attempt to put a Kwangmyongsong-2 satelite into orbit. The Unha (which means “Galaxy”) shares several delivery system elements with the Taepodong-2 long-range missile. So it counts.
No persons or property were injured or damaged. PM Abe said that the J-gov would do everything it needed to do to protect its people. Japanese are pissed…but only sorta. The North Korean dictator, though, is no doubt slapping all kinds of missileer ass in an effort to feign celebration over having dumped millions more of the budget he does not have, into developing a missile system he ain’t ever gonna use. It’s like he’s trying to letter in being a varsity-level global joke.
In an effort to further drive this point home, North Korea’s fearless leader has also issued a statement that North Korea told the world they’d launch a missile over Japan and into the Pacific Ocean, and now that prediction has come to pass…
Yeah, bud. You go.
Featured image courtesy of Twitter.