Published: Tue, March 07, 2017
Science | By Boyd Webster

North Korean missile tests angers Japan

North Korean missile tests angers Japan

The communist state has staged a series of missile tests with increasing range, with the aim of eventually building long-range nuclear missiles capable of striking the U.S. mainland.

Weapons experts say solid-fuel missiles pose greater threats as they require less launch preparation time than liquid-fueled rockets, and can be fired from mobile launchers, which are easy to move around.

Leader Kim Jong-Un is pushing for a nuclear and missile programme that can deter what he calls United States and South Korean hostility towards the North.

By targeting Japan's exclusive economic zone with the missiles fired Monday, Pyongyang suggests that it also eyes US military bases in Japan, which would provide reinforcements in the event of hostilities on the Korean Peninsula.

This morning North Korea fired the ballistic missiles which travelled 620 miles towards the Sea of Japan.

That missile was also fired from North Pyongan province and traveled 500 kilometers (310 miles) before landing in the Sea of Japan.

The launch of the missiles, three of which Abe said fell into Japan's exclusive economic zone, were "a grave threat to our country's national security", according to government spokesman Yoshihide Suga.

Shortly after the order was given, North Korea's missiles began exploding on launch, straying from their intended flight paths, or coming apart mid-flight.

Dr Bong Young Shik of Yonsei University's Institute for North Korean Studies said that Pyongyang is merely "following through" with earlier threats that it will not sit idle if the annual joint exercises were to continue.

"This is a direct challenge to the worldwide community and a grave violation", he said. Nevertheless, Shuang also added, "China has also noted that the US and South Korea are holding large-scale military exercises targeting North Korea".

The reclusive state faced severe sanctions from the UN Security Council for a series of launches past year, in addition to two nuclear tests. Seoul and Washington also need to consider the idea of jointly operating USA strategic assets in Guam when a real war breaks out.

North Korea criticises the annual drills and has previously conducted missile launches to coincide with the exercises.

"These tests are sending a signal to the world and the the United States that they are prepared to defend themselves, that they're in a state of constant preparedness", said Petrov.

Even China tool North Korea to task, saying it violated United Nations resolutions.

North Korea's ambassador Kang Chol left the country Monday evening after he had been declared persona non grata by Wisma Putra for his criticism of Malaysia's handling of the Jong-nam murder investigation, accusing it of being in cahoots with North Korea's enemies.

Pyongyang has staged a series of missile test-launches of various ranges in recent months.

Pinkston said the launches were also taking place amid swirling talk of a potential pre-emptive US strike on the country to thwart its ICBM development.

A TV screen at a train station in Seoul, South Korea, shows a news program reporting on North Korea's missile firing on Monday.

The kind of missile is uncertain but the North is prohibited from nuclear tests or any missile by the UN.

Like this: