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North Korea have fired an intermediate range ballistic missile eastwards over Japan and into the Pacific on Friday.

This has been described as the regimes latest provocation amid high tensions over its banned weapons programmes.

North Korea launched a Hwasong-12 ballistic missile that passed over Hokkaido. The missile travelled 3,700 kilometres and reached a maximum height of 770 kilometres; this is the furthest any North Korean IRBM missile has ever travelled.

Initial estimates suggest the Hwasong-12 would have a maximum range of between 3,700km and 6000km.

The launch, from near Pyongyang, came after the United Nations Security Council imposed an eighth set of sanctions on the country over its ballistic missile and atomic weapons programmes.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called this test “a reckless act of launching a missile that flies over our country is an unprecedented, serious and important threat.”

That was in response to its sixth nuclear test — by far its largest yet — earlier this month, which Pyongyang said was a hydrogen bomb small enough to fit onto a missile.

The Pentagon confirmed the missile fired was an intermediate range ballistic missile and said it did not pose a threat to North America.

The North has raised tensions in the region with its rapid progress in weapons technology under leader Kim Jong-Un, who is closely associated with the programme and regularly pictured by state media overseeing launches and visiting facilities.

Its last missile launch, a Hwasong-12 intermediate range missile just over two weeks ago, also overflew Japan — its first to do so for years — sparking emergency sirens and text alerts, before coming down in the Pacific Ocean.

Friday’s missile flew over Hokkaido in northern Japan “at around 07:06 am (2206 GMT) towards the Pacific Ocean”, Japan’s J-Alert system said, with reports saying it came down around 2,000 kilometres east of Hokkaido.

“Japan can never tolerate this repeated provocative action by North Korea,” Tokyo’s top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

“We have strongly protested to the North, telling them of the strong anger by the Japanese people and condemn with the strongest words possible.”

18 COMMENTS

  1. It will continue and nothing will be done physically to stop it. Some say meaningful sanctions should work, I for one doubt that it certainly hasn’t stopped a Russian military resurgence.

    I think within the next few years North Korea will have nuclear weapons capable of reaching many countries around the World, and like all other states that have the bomb, we will just have to live with it just as we do with international terrorism. We may not like nuclear proliferation, but any determined nation can acquire the technology. A real possibility, is the Japanese and South Korean governments sanctioning the development of a bomb of their own.

  2. Continuing my thoughts. May be it’s time Nato considered developing a sky net system to give Europe wide anti ballistic protection. Nuclear proliferation is likely to increase in the coming decades, and the likelihood of conflict can not be overstated. If however, Nato is diminished in the face of demands for greater EU military integration, Britain should still want to contribute or lock into an American system, which is now highly likely, due to the North Korean threat.

    • There has to be nuclear proliferation talks to reduce stockpiles, we’ve gone from Nixon and Gorbachev to a reality tv star buisiness man and a guy who has people put to death by anti-aircraft gun.

      We need world leaders to have working towards a nuclear war free world as one of their main targets.

      A Europe wide anti-ballistic protection system is a good idea, these THAAD systems seem to be the real deal, never missed a practice hit I think.

      • You are correct, the hands at the card table are worrying ones. No matter how you call it, the leader of any nation needs intellectual methods and savvy as second nature. Such strengths can lead to sober governance and be lacking sparkle. Sadly, today, in this media world, if you lack sparkle (celebrity status) you can’t get anywhere close to power. Maybe it was ever thus?

      • Kieran you can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Nuclear disarmament is a pipe dream. It will never happen and why should it, deterrence works. We should keep nuclear weapons and continue to deny them to nutters if possible.

        • I said “nuclear war free world” either you didn’t read it properly or think nuclear war should be on the table.

          Stockpiles should be reduced, they have been reduced before and with good leaders they could be reduced again.

          Obviously it’s a bit unrealistic to suggest everyone is going to get rid of their nuclear weapons at this point, but totally removing the capacity for other nations to develop one should be a main aim, as well reducing current stockpiles to levels signed by a treaty. I’m not sure there is much wrong with those aims.

          And if I’m being totally honest anyone who thinks the existence of nuclear weapons is a good thing is crazy. unfortunately they are not just used as a deterrent by some, USA proved that in 1945.

          There immediate purpose is to kill millions of civilians in highly populated cities, there use is a war crime, even the US General Lemay who was in charge of bombing Japan admitted after the war if America lost he would of been tried as a war criminal.

          I do support us having a nuclear deterrent btw because other countries do have it so we should also. But make no mistake if all nuclear powers signed a treaty tomorrow to dismantle every single last one I would happily support it, I think 99% of the population would.

          One last thing just to point out, they have never actually worked as a deterrent for us, didn’t stop Argentina, not the IRA and certainly not ISIS, and the USSR never once during the cold war said “oh cancel that attack on the UK they have nuclear weapons. It’s a myth that these are deterrents, the cold hard truth is that If nuclear war broke out we have a means to attack on the same level as our enemies.

          • We already have a “nuclear war free world”. Nuclear war is and should be on the table. It has been for a generation. They did work for us during the Cold War you just don’t like it. Deterrence has prevented a Nuclear Third World War, no one said it would prevent all conflicts and you are being either very naive or intellectually dishonest by conflating the two. I think anyone who wants nuclear disarmament is “crazy”, what’s to ensure everyone complies? I am sure that in your view everyone is always honest and no one would ever hide a nuclear capability.

  3. After billions spent on nuclear stockpiles any suggestion of disarmament is irresponsible. It is only the threat of Nuclear War that has prevented another world war. The issue is mutually assured destruction only works if both sides are sane. There is no evidence Kim Jong Un is. Nor are the mullahs of Iran. Also mind your own damn business on who is President of the United States.

  4. “Also mind your own damn business on who is President of the United States.”

    You mean that orange laughing stock who can’t keep his mouth shut, he’s an embarrassment mate. What happened to sorting China out regarding trade and currency? Bringing back all the jobs that went to China and elsewhere. Getting rid of Obamacare? Where’s the wall? Ditching NATO? Building infrastructure?

    He broke 100 promises in his first 80 days 😂

    • It has not been your god damn business since 1776. I do not personally attack the ridiculous morons who head your parties. Refrain from attacking mine.
      By the way General LeMay was referring to both sides condut during war and the importance of winning. He never repudiated using nuclear weapons against Japan. He even advocated the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Korea and Vietnam. Bombs Away LeMay was the man singularly responsible for the modern US Air Force. He never asked anyone to do anything he wouldn’t do himself. He was one of the best General officers in American history.

      • That’s because the people running my country don’t jump on twitter talking out their a**e just after a terrorist attack.

        It was the same during the last one, the US intelligence network has more holes in it than a 70’s breast implant.

      • Ignore the nonsense Elliot, if it was up to people like him the allies would have lost the Second World War. The bombing of Japan was perfectly legitimate, if he bothered to read he would know which side was committing the heinous war crimes.

  5. I’m not missing anything. I didn’t see you qualify your remarks as your opinion. Donald Trump has won an election, your pal has not. Even when the tories go ” full retard” with their manifesto your mate can’t win. Corbyn has wasted his career meeting and befriending scum and raiding Oxfam for his outfits while Trump has earned billions and became US President.

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