North Korea fired a missile that passed over northern Japan, Reuters reported, citing Japanese government sources. Japan’s military didn’t attempt to shoot down the missile, the report said.
North Korea’s missile passed over Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost main island, around 5.06am HKT and landed in waters off the east coast of the island, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK, which said multiple missiles may have been fired.
The early morning missile launch follows North Korea’s firing of three short-range ballistic missiles on Saturday. The move further escalates a resumption in tensions that had boiled over earlier this month, when US President Donald Trump threatened North Korea’s government with “fire and fury” and Pyongyang responded in kind by announcing a plan to send missiles into the waters near the US Pacific territory of Guam.
“This is a much bigger deal than ‘normal’ missile shots,” Abraham Denmark, former deputy assistant secretary for East Asia at the Pentagon, said in a Twitter post. “Overflying an ally is a threat that requires a robust, coordinated response.”
This is a much bigger deal than “normal” missile shots. Overflying an ally is a treat that requires a robust, coordinated response. https://t.co/mnAoT2bRAL
— Abraham M. Denmark (@AbeDenmark) August 28, 2017
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday the firing of three ballistic missiles by North Korea was “a provocative act” but that the United States will continue to seek a peaceful resolution.
North Korea fires three short-range missiles into the sea, threatening fresh escalation of tensions with US
“We do view it as a provocative act against the United States and our allies,” Tillerson said in an interview on Fox News Sunday. “We’re going to continue our peaceful pressure campaign as I have described it, working with allies, working with China as well to see if we can bring the regime in Pyongyang to the negotiating table.”
The US Defence Department on Monday also echoed Tillerson’s comments by saying Saturday’s missile launching was a “threat” even if the missiles did not directly endanger the US.
Two of them flew some 250km before falling into the East Sea, while a third blew up almost immediately, according to the US Pacific Command.
Pentagon spokesman Colonel Robert Manning, speaking to reporters in Washington about Saturday’s missile launches, said North Korea is “still firing missiles, so that’s a threat. We look at that as a threat.” – SCMP