What we know about the missile North Korea fired over Japan
North Korea launched a missile Monday that flew over Japan, the Pentagon said.
In a statement, Pentagon spokesman U.S. Army Col. Rob Manning said, “we are still in the process of assessing this launch,” but the “North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America.”
What do we know about the missile?
Experts told the Washington Post they believed the missile was the Hwasong-12, “an intermediate-range ballistic missile technically capable of flying 3,000 miles.”
More from reporter Anna Fifield:
The missile traveled almost 1,700 miles in total, flying over Hokkaido at 6:06 a.m. before landing in the Pacific Ocean 730 miles to the east of the island’s Cape Erimo at about 6:12 a.m.
Japan said the missile broke into three pieces fell in waters off Hokkaido, the country’s northernmost main island, reports Elise Lu, NPR’s Asia correspondent.
The missile did not head south, toward Guam, as North Korea leader Kim Jong Un had threatened earlier this month.
How is this different from other missile tests?
North Korea has launched several missiles in recent months, including some short-range tests this weekend, Politico reported. But the most recent missiles only traveled about 250 kilometers, or 155 miles.
Flying missiles over Japan is more rare. This is only the third missile from North Korea to fly over Japan, The Guardian reports. The other two came in 1998 and 2009, respectively, it said.
The test is a departure from what seemed to be an easing of tensions between America and North Korea, which has been developing a nuclear missile that could reach the U.S.
Last Tuesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson praised North Korea’s “restraint in its provocations,” saying he thought it was a positive step toward dialogue — something many had not thought possible earlier this month, when President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un exchanged a series of heated statements some feared could lead to conflict.
North Korea’s latest missile test comes as the annual U.S.-South Korea military exercises are underway. Some Korea watchers told the NewsHour the military exercises have increased Pyongyang’s anxieties, demonstrated by the weekend’s missile tests, though none of those had range as broad as Monday’s launch.
“Every time we are practicing, whether it’s field exercises, or even a table top exercise, they get a little bit nervous about what we might do. They also worry about the capabilities that we’re demonstrating,” Mansfield Foundation Frank Jannuzi told NewsHour last week.
What does the White House say?
“The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear: this regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior,”President Donald Trump said in a statement Tuesday. “Threatening and destabilizing actions only increase the North Korean regime’s isolation in the region and among all nations of the world. All options are on the table.”
The president spoke with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan on Monday, and they “committed to increasing pressure on North Korea and doing their utmost to convince the international community to do the same,” the White House says.
What does Japan say?
Abe condemned the test, saying in a statement to reporters that “North Korea’s reckless action is an unprecedented, serious and a grave threat to our nation.”
South Korea’s National Security Council convened soon after the test, Lu reported, “as is usual practice after a provocation.”
Abe said on a 40-minute phone call with Trump, the two leaders agreed to call for an emergency meeting of the U.N. security council, according to The Guardian.
Diplomats told Reuters that meeting would happen sometime Tuesday.
Sixty-one percent of Americans say they have little to no confidence in Trump’s ability to handle an international crisis, according to a recent PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll. The poll also found some 73 percent of U.S. adults prefer diplomacy over warfare to ease tensions with North Korea.
NewsHour will update this story as it develops.