World War 3: North Korean Missile Hits Japanese Economic Zone
North Korea fired a ballistic missile from its eastern coast early Monday morning, dealing another blow to efforts by South Korea’s new government to improve inter-Korean ties.
A North Korean missile flew about 450km before landing inside Japan’s economic zone, the missile, said to be a Scud-type projectile, was launched from an airfield near Wonsan, a city on North Korea’s east coast, according to the US Pacific Command and South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).
On Sunday, US Defense Secretary James Mattis warned that a conflict with North Korea would be “catastrophic.” He also said Pyongyang “has hundreds of artillery cannons and rocket launchers within range of one of the most densely populated cities on earth, which is the capital of South Korea.”
Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, said the North Korean missile launches pose risks to air traffic in the area as well as to maritime lanes in the Sea of Japan, according to Reuters.
“This ballistic missile launch by North Korea is highly problematic from the perspective of the safety of shipping and air traffic and is a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions,” Suga told reporters.
Tokyo will take “specific action” and join forces with the US to deter Pyongyang, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.
Roh Jae-cheon, the spokesman for the JCS, said the missile flew at an altitude of 120km (75 miles). “So far, the assessment is there was at least one missile but we are analyzing the number of missiles,” he said earlier in the day.
South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo held a series of meetings Monday with visiting U.S. lawmakers, during which they reaffirmed a robust alliance, his ministry said.
Han met with Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), head of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, at his office, hours after North Korea fired another ballistic missile.