After a new president assumed office in South Korea a few days ago, North Korea challengingly carried out another ballistic missile test. The newly elected President Moon Jae, considered the move a “reckless provocation”. According to government officials, Japan is considering a new missile defence system to counter the threat of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, while, US president Donald Trump called for “stronger sanctions”, at a time when China is calling for restraint.
It does seem according to analysts who reported on the incident that the recent test might suggest a longer range than previously tested devices, however, they clarified that the nature of the launch is still to be determined. Japan’s defence minister mentioned that the missile was launched at around 5:28 Japan’s local time, from North Korea’s western coast and flew for about 30 minutes prior to falling in the Sea of Japan, underlining that it could be a new type of missile.
Experts quoted by Reuters say the altitude meant the missile was launched at a high trajectory, limiting the lateral distance it travelled. They say if it had been fired at a standard trajectory, it would have had a range of at least 4,000km. The missile was launched from north – western Kusong, and reached an altitude of 2000 km said Japanese sources.
Currently we are watching a series of moves that aim for protection, Ruling party sources say Japan is leaning towards choosing the Aegis Ashore missile-defence system over another advanced system called Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD). At a time where the US THAAD system was made operational in South Korea in response to the growing missile threat from North Korea.
The recent missile test follows a series of North Korean missile tests launched this year. Last month witnessed two missile launches and both failed, noting that such actions are banned by the UN. According to Japan’s Nikkei newspaper, Japan’s prime minister said “such launches undertaken by North Korea pose a serious threat to Japan, and are an obvious violation of Security Council resolutions. He further added that such an attitude is totally unacceptable, underlining that it is expected that North Korea will undertake further provocations, explaining that Japan will continue to work with the United States and North Korea and will exert it’s utmost efforts to ensure it’s people’s safety.