North Korea has fired a missile over Japan. This is the first time that a missile from the North Koreans has gone this far. The missile was a mid-range ballistic missile, designed to carry a nuclear bomb, and has apparently flown the longest distance of any of the nation's missiles. It was seen as a message of defiance as the United States and South Korea conducted war games nearby.
The missile travelled around 2,700 kilometres and reached a maximum height of 550 kilometres as it travelled over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff. The length and type of the missile test seemed designed to show that North Korea can back up a threat to target the US territory of Guam, if it wants. It also set a dangerous milestone of the first missile test over Japan.
Any new test from North Korea worries Washington and its allies because it seems to put the North a step closer toward its goal of having nuclear missiles that can reliably hit the US. Today’s test, however, looks especially aggressive to Washington, Seoul and Tokyo.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he had a 40-minute phone chat with US President Donald Trump in which they studied North Korea’s latest missile launch and what action to take.