After months of threatening the US with nuclear war, and just days after a new president took office in South Korea, Kim Jong-Un fired (or misfired) a ballistic missile that landed too close for comfort to Russian territory.
Here is what we know (courtesy of the Daily Mail UK)…
- Kim Jong-Un fired a ballistic missile 500 miles into the Sea of Japan on Sunday
- Launch took place in Kusong region located northwest of the capital, Pyongyang
- US official said it landed in water 60 miles south of Russia’s Vladivostok region
- President Donald Trump said he ‘cannot imagine that Russia is pleased’
- Japan’s defense minister said it could have been a new type of ballistic missile
- The launch is the first in two weeks since the last attempt ended in a failure
South Korea’s Joint Chief of Staff reports that the missile was launched at around 5.30 a.m.
The launch took place in the Kusong region located northwest of the capital, Pyongyang, where the North previously test-launched an intermediate-range missile it is believed to be developing.
The missile landed in waters 60 miles south of Russia’s Vladivostok region, home of the Russian Pacific Fleet (see map below).
Via Daily Mail UK…
US Pacific Command says the flight was not consistent with an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Japan’s defense minister Tomomi Inada told reporters there is a possibility that it was a new type of ballistic missile, saying it flew Sunday for about 30 minutes and at an altitude exceeding 1,240 miles. She says more analysis was needed.
Japanese officials said the missile landed in the Sea of Japan but outside the country’s exclusive economic zone.
Kim Dong-yub, an expert at Kyungnam University’s Institute of Far Eastern Studies in Seoul, said he estimated a standard trajectory firing would give it a range of 3,700 miles, meaning it would be capable of reaching Hawaii.
The launch is the first in two weeks since the last attempt ended in a failure just minutes into flight.
South Korean President Moon Jae-In strongly condemned rival North Korea’s missile test-launch as a ‘clear’ violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and a ‘serious challenge’ to international peace and security.
According to senior presidential secretary Yoon Young-chan, Moon expressed ‘deep regret’ over the fact this ‘provocation’ occurred just days after a new government was sworn in in South Korea.
Yoon quoted Moon as saying South Korea is ‘leaving open the possibility of dialogue with North Korea, but we should sternly deal with a provocation to prevent North Korea from miscalculating’.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe slammed the missile launch as ‘totally unacceptable’ and a ‘grave threat’ to Tokyo.
‘We strongly protest against North Korea,’ he said.
The White House issued a statement Saturday night saying President Donald Trump has been briefed on the latest missile test.
‘With the missile impacting so close to Russian soil – in fact, closer to Russia than to Japan – the President cannot imagine that Russia is pleased.
‘North Korea has been a flagrant menace for far too long. South Korea and Japan have been watching this situation closely with us.
‘The United States maintains our ironclad commitment to stand with our allies in the face of the serious threat posed by North Korea. Let this latest provocation serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against North Korea.’
Russian President Vladimir Putin is currently in Beijing, China, on a two-day visit.