Tuesday, August 28 – North Korea launched a missile that flew over Hokkaido, Japan, in what is said to be the most brazen display of provocation during Kim Jong Un’s five-year rule. The act reignited tensions between Pyongyang and the rest of the world. The missile is the 18th that the country has launched this year, and the third time it fired a missile over Japanese territory. Earlier this month, the North Korean leader threatened to fire missiles into the sea near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

Hwasong-12 missile

The missile, identified as a Hwasong-12, is an intermediate ballistic missile that is capable of flying up to 3,000 miles, making the U.S.

Territory Of Guam an easy target. However, the missile flew east and into the Pacific Ocean near Hokkaido territory, instead.

Last month, North Korea also launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles that in theory, are capable of reaching the United States. These displays underscore Kim’s defiance of the international community, as well as reiterates his determination to go on ahead of his missile program.

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said that flying a missile over Japan was a “reckless act” that represented a “serious threat without precedent” to the country. Japan’s upgraded missile response system took action soon after, sending emergency alerts via phone and over loud speakers around 6 AM local time, serving as a warning for people on the potential flight path to take cover.

U.S. involvement

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump forewarned North Korea with “fire and fury the world has never seen” if the rogue regime continues with their threats. Reports also pointed out that the U.S. and South Korea forces started their annual military exercises last week. These exercises were deemed by North Korea to be a “rehearsal for war.”

Fox News reported that Japan, on the other hand, has its military practicing deployment of anti-missile batteries at three U.S.

bases in their country. The U.S. military said that these drills were to test the ability of both countries’ forces to work together and assess firing locations. It also allows for Japan to practice their PAC-3 anti-missile deployment system. Japan is also reported to deploy its Patriot missile systems to “several” U.S. military installations over the next few days.

The White House did not respond to the latest missile provocation, however analysts noted that it escalated tensions from different countries. Abraham Denmark, director of the Asia Program at the Kissinger Institute and former East Asia official at the Pentagon was reported by The Washington Post as saying, “North Korean missiles have a habit of breaking apart in flight, so if this happened and parts of it landed in Japan, even if it was not North Korea’s intention, this would amount to a de facto attack on Japan.”