A ballistic missile was launched over Japan by North Korea this past Tuesday(10/4/22), in contravention of UN policies. It is believed the launch was carried out to get the attention of Washington and Tokyo, who have conducted naval exercises together this week, alongside South Korea.
The missile traveled a distance of 2,800 miles. It fell into the Pacific Ocean, but the distance indicates that on a different trajectory, it would have hit the US island of Guam. It reached 1000km in height, which is higher than the International Space Station. It is the furthest a missile from North Korea has traveled in tests that have been carried out so far.
No one was injured from the missile, but Japan did issue warnings to people in the north of the country, including Hokkaido island and Aomori city. Sirens sounded and text messages were sent to residents advising them to shelter underground or in buildings.
The missile launch was immediately condemned by Fumio Kishida, the Prime Minister of Japan who described the incident as ‘violent behavior’. US President Joe Biden had a two hour phone call with Kishida in which he reinforced the United States commitment to the defence of Japan.
The last time North Korea launched a missile in the direction of Japan was in 2017, and it was followed up with a nuclear test. Intelligence suggests that the county are planning another nuclear test, and so the rest of the world will be watching very closely.