Every North Korean missile test fuels a new round of tensions and threats from the US, but today’s North Korean test appears to be a particularly major feat in the nation’s missile program, as a Hwasong-12 missile was fired over Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, and flew some 1,600 miles total before landing in the north Pacific.
The intermediate-range ballistic missile flew at a height of 550 km, and led to air raid sirens in northern Japan, with locals being warned to take shelter in basements. Japan says they made no attempt to try to shoot the missile down.
That North Korea would make such a launch attempt at all is a show of confidence in the maturity of this missile system. Previous missile tests have failed in flight, and a failure in a test over Japanese territory could’ve easily been disastrous, hitting Japanese soil and starting a war. Clearly, North Korea was comfortable they would not only fly over Hokkaido, but land some 750 miles east of the island,a major sign of the program’s development.
As North Korea’s missiles improve, the predictable US response of a new round of threats makes the possibility of a major war even graver, and analysts have agreed for months that there is no “good” military option with respect to North Korea.
North Korea were reporting that they’ve miniaturized their nuclear weapons to missile warheads, they have now also proven their ballistic missiles have advanced to the point that they can travel with some reliability to a distance of nearly 3,000 km.
That gives North Korea’s deterrent even more credibility, and while the Trump Administration has long emphasized that diplomacy has “failed,” it’s clear that escalating threats and military buildups have fared no better, and shows the US desperately needs to deescalate the situation before they find themselves in a disastrous war.
13 thoughts on “North Korea Fires Ballistic Missile Over Japan”
” They made no attempt to shoot the missile down.” That didn’t send a message.
NK’s message to the world is that they will NOT give in to a back-stabbing mass murdering nation called the USA!
North Korea’s idiocracy has nothing to do with the U.S.
Even though I hate nukes, I can easily see why they feel they need them. However doing stuff like this is just wrong on so many levels. There is no way that anyone who is remotely anti-war can do anything but condemn this action. And I would say the same to any nation who does this kind of nonsense. It’s a good thing that Japan is showing restraint because they certainly have good reason to attack them after a stunt like this and of course that would immediately draw the US into it as well. This is exactly why we shouldn’t have our troops stationed there.
This was a really stupid move. After doing this that they are just going to get even more pressure brought to bear on them from pretty much everyone. Maybe they think it’s going to put them in a strong position to negotiate from but I think it’s just the opposite. Nobody is going to be on their side after this one.
North Korea test fires missiles – the USA bombs and subverts every nation that it can! So who’s the greater threat? If someone can’t see the big threat that the USA represents to the world, they are in denial or just plain stupid!
Yes the US is a greater threat and I certainly didn’t suggest otherwise, but two wrongs don’t make a right. This was still wrong for North Korea to do and again I don’t care which nation does things like this, including the US. As I said, I understand why they want nukes. With the history of the US in regards to attacking countries it makes perfect sense. This move however, makes no sense at all. It’s a needless provocation that only makes the chance of war greater. It’s also immoral as can be to terrorize innocent people. And yes I would extend that to Trump’s threats to bomb them.
“This move however, makes no sense at all.”
It makes “sense” in the context of the overall penis-waving contest. The US keeps making shows of force, e.g. flying bombers across the peninsula right along the DMZ. North Korea keeps making shows of force, e.g. showing it can lob a missile over and beyond Japan.
Using your logic this means that Trump is making perfect sense when he threatens North Korea. However I would suggest it makes more sense for the nation that can actually survive a war than the one that can’t. A war would be terrible for everyone but it would be the end for North Korea and this takes us one step closer. Or are you a person who believes that threats are a good way to bring about peace? If so then you must again believe that Trump’s logic is flawless.
And aside from bringing war closer it will in fact alienate them further from the rest of the world. So from a diplomatic standpoint it also makes no sense.
It’s funny but one of my only real points of contention with the authors who show up on this site is their tendency to excuse bad behavior on the part of anyone who is defying the US. All too often they use the two wrongs make a right argument. It’s almost as if any nation that stands up to the US can do no wrong. I simply can’t agree with this assessment, often both sides can be wrong and in this case both the US and North Korea are wrong and they are both bringing us closer to war.
Sorry but this launch made no sense at all. It’s bringing them closer to war and if they intend to use this as a way to negotiate from a position of strength they are even more mistaken. Why? Because in any negotiation they will need all the goodwill they can get from wherever they can get it. This will lead to more sanctions placed against them and less goodwill from anyone who might be predisposed to take their side in any way at all. In fact when they behave like this it actually makes Trump appear to have a legitimate reason for his threats and blustering.
They could have fired this missile in a way that proved they had the capability to strike Japan or elsewhere without actually terrorizing people in Japan, that would have made sense. The decision to fire it directly over Japan is what made no sense because it was needlessly provocative, in a time when they will need every bit of goodwill they can find.
I always give the benefit of the doubt to the one the bully happens to be picking on at the time. And when the one that’s getting picked on does something stupid to retaliate, I still find it hard not to blame the bully.
Oh I think it’s perfectly fine and correct to blame the bully. But that shouldn’t mean that other regimes get a free pass for their own wrong doing.
I see this tendency a lot in America today. It’s the idea that blame should be proportioned out in a percentage basis. Something like this. The US is 75% at fault and North Korea is 25% at fault or any other numbers you care to input. But to my way of thinking this is really just a way to escape the full blame of wrong doing. It’s rather like saying if 10 people all rob a bank that each person is only 10% at fault. Nobody would agree with that idea, yet when it comes to foreign policy we often do look at it in exactly this manner.
I see Trump’s threats as 100% wrong, it’s simply not moral to threaten the lives of innocent people the way he is doing. There can be no real justification for doing this. Lets say you were a huge bully, would I be justified in threatening your children? Nope, same thing goes for Trump. No matter what kind of blustering NK does it’s not justified to threaten the people there with death and destruction.
But the same exact thing goes for NK. They just threatened the lives of everyone living in Japan with that launch. The innocent people of Japan do not deserve to have their lives threatened that way no matter what side their government might be on. So NK is 100% wrong for doing this and should be called out. Of course that doesn’t mean that at the same time that we shouldn’t also point out that Trump’s threats are also 100% wrong.
I feel the same way about Iran. Although the US has done far more damage to the area, Iran is not in fact completely faultless, although to read articles here and by other anti-war people you might believe just that. However, in reality they are still a rather nasty regime and they do in fact arm enemies of Israel. If they had taken a true non-interventionist approach then I would of course say they are blameless. But in reality they also take actions that are 100% wrong and the fact that other nations also do things that are 100% wrong doesn’t change this fact.
I guess I’m just sick of being anti-war and somehow thinking that I must make excuses for other regimes when they do things that are wrong. In reality I think one can be completely anti-war and call out all regimes when they are doing bad things. It just seems a whole lot more consistent and principled to me.
Is there some part of “in the context of” that you don’t understand?
In the context of a penis-waving contest, it makes sense to wave one’s penis.
That doesn’t mean that the contest itself makes sense.
It seems that nobody is aware, cares, or thinks it’s relevant that the US and Japan were conducting military exercises on Hokkaido that ended just before this missile was launched over the location where these exercises were taking place. This doesn’t justify North Korea’s actions, but it does add color and alter the narrative that North Korea simply up and launched a missile over Hokkaido simply as a provocation rather than a response to ongoing military exercises in the region by the US. If there’s a reason why I’m totally off base on this, please let me know. But it seems everyone is putting two and two together regarding the US-South Korean exercises and the missile launches over the weekend and ignoring the US-Japanese exercises on Hokkaido with regard to the this missile launch.
“The intermediate-range ballistic missile flew at a height of 550 km”
That would be about 340 miles. From wikipedia’s “Airspace” definition:
“Airspace is the portion of the atmosphere controlled by a country above its territory, including its territorial waters or, more generally, any specific three-dimensional portion of the atmosphere. It is not the same as aerospace, which is the general term for Earth’s atmosphere and the outer space in its vicinity.”
There is no international agreement on the vertical extent of sovereign airspace (the boundary between outer space—which is not subject to national jurisdiction—and national airspace), with suggestions ranging from about 30 km (19 mi) (the extent of the highest aircraft and balloons) to about 160 km (99 mi) (the lowest extent of short-term stable orbits). The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale has established the Kármán line, at an altitude of 100 km (62 mi), as the boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and outer space, while the United States considers anyone who has flown above 50 miles (80 km) to be an astronaut; indeed descending space shuttles have flown closer than 80 km (50 mi) over other nations, such as Canada, without requesting permission first. Nonetheless both the Kármán line and the U.S. definition are merely working benchmarks, without any real legal authority over matters of national sovereignty.
The boundary between public airspace and private air rights is defined by national or local law.”
It doesn’t appear that Japan’s airspace was violated.
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