North Korea launches four ballistic missiles toward Japan
March 06, 2017
Four ballistic missiles launched by North Korea landed 300 km off the coast of Japan on Monday.
(SEOUL/TOKYO) North Korea fired four ballistic missiles into the sea off Japan’s northwest on Monday, angering South Korea and Japan, days after it promised retaliation over U.S.-South Korea military drills it sees as a preparation for war.
South Korea’s military said the missiles were unlikely to have been intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), which can reach the United States. The missiles flew on average 1,000 km (620 miles) and reached a height of 260 km (160 miles).
Some of the missiles landed in waters as close as 300 km (190 miles) from Japan’s northwest coast, Japan’s Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said in Tokyo.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said “strong protests” had been lodged with nuclear-armed North Korea, which has carried out a series of nuclear and missile tests in defiance of U.N. resolutions.
“The launches are clearly in violation of Security Council resolutions. It is an extremely dangerous action,” Abe told parliament.
U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, also told Reuters there were no indications so far that North Korea had tested an ICBM.
The U.S. military said it detected and tracked what it assessed was a North Korean missile launch, but it did not pose a threat to North America.
Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis boasted that the U.S. currently has the ability to shoot down ballistic missiles launched by Noth Korea.
“We maintain abilities to be able to respond quickly and intercept missiles from North Korea if they do pose a threat to us or our allies,” Capt. Davis said.
Missile Defense Agency spokesman Chris Johnson echoed Capt. Davis’ statement.
“We are absolutely confident in the system,” Johnson said, referring to the AEGIS missile defense system. “Based on our history of testing, we are confident that the system would be able to defend the United States.”
TRUNEWS correspondant Edward Szall spoke to former USS Cole commander Kirk Lippold at CPAC about the new upgrades to the AEGIS missile defense system which enables it to shoot down in-flight ICBM’s.
The United States has about 28,500 troops and equipment stationed in the South, and plans to roll out the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile defense system by the end of the year.
Japan also plans to reinforce its ballistic missile defenses and is considering buying either THAAD or building a ground-based version of the Aegis system that is currently deployed on ships in the Sea of Japan.
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