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Take cover - but where? Japanese helpless over N Korean threat

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By Kyoko Hasegawa and Hiroshi Hiyama

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This is becoming comical, the rockets are flying at twice the altitude of the space station in space, 700 km about Japan.

At the height even if did malfunction, it would burn up in the atmosphere before hitting the surface, as it can only survive re-entry if its falling nose first at a specific angle to survive the intense heat.

Hey kids, quit hiding under your desks and read your science books.

16 ( +28 / -12 )

If NK were to lob a missile at a major city in Japan, unless it could be shot down, there is no place to "take cover." Unless you are already in a "sturdy building" or you are already "underground," the likelihood of you being able to get to such a place in the time left before impact is laughable. Also, even if you were in such a place, it doesn't mean you would survive.

Because of the events of WWII, Japan is essentially a sitting duck. I have lived here for over 20 years. It's my opinion that Japan be allowed to possess nuclear weapons and point them at the head of Kim Jong Un 24 hours a day.

It's great that the authorities can turn on a siren. But other than that, what else can they do? Nothing. It is time to arm South Korea and Japan. Do China and Russia really want to lose the rest of the world over NK? Because that is what might happen.

I suggest that all Japanese take cover in government buildings, pushing out incompetent politicians and hunkering down until the laws of this country reflect its current dire circumstances.

3 ( +15 / -12 )

A very real threat is a miscalculation by the regime and an accidental strike that could lead to an all out conflict.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

We all know such drills are pointless in terms of protecting anyone from death or injury under a nuclear (or even non nuclear) missile attack. It's been that way since the Cuban Missile crisis, we were instructed to hide under desks or line up and sit in the hall with your head between your legs. All pointless and pretty funny in retrospect. BUT, it serves a purpose to establish a protocol to minimize chaotic confusion and all governments have no choice but to do this. In reality, South Korea is actually quite safe because it is North Korea's hostage, and there's nothing more useless than a dead hostage. Now it appears that North Korea wants to add Japan to it's hostage list, and eventually parts of the United States. As it's ICBM technology advances, North Korea will simply continue to add more potential "hostages".

6 ( +11 / -5 )

What the hell is this photo trying to prove? 1, it's a bunker why the need for a sturdy safe? 2, what's the cloudy wallpaper? 3, an office light, it's pathetic also who has the money time and space to borrow under your dwelling in fear of a ICBM.. As mentioned above duck and cover won't safe you and building a bunker particularly one so ugly might give you a few seconds to regret the choice of decorative options made. A rocket impacting will indubitably kill anyone under it, even if you can burrow underground.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Sanctions can only work if the party can be convinced of change and has other grievances that can be addressed by doing so, thus creating an agreement and a way forward. NK has no such ability to find agreement and is headstrong to keep developing weapons.

It will simply come a time soon enough to use conventional weapons to end it. Whether it's China or USA it doesn't matter. It would be ironic from years of inaction for it to be China but it is in the best position to wipe them out, and that's where I would like to see diplomatic action. However more likely if NK continues to not stop USA will be forced to act. If it can be done by only affecting the upper echelon that would be for the best

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@OssanAmerica

Then according to your theory USA is holding the whole world a hostage. I dont want to hear that USA is not firing missiles above countries...because you know its a lie. We all know many cases and very recent also that USA fired missiles not above other countries but on other countries. Not to mention how may wars has USA started on other countries that was later even proven that it could not even justify their own reasoning.

USA, Japan and the whole world should just start talking with NK by first telling them we are stopping the sanctions and the drills around your borders. Then we are starting business and trading with NK and there will be no more missiles fired.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

@burning bush

Great comment, I feel the same way. Scientifically, a miss calculation would simply burn up in the sky. Plus I believe Japan has the patriot missile system that can shoot down missiles upon reentry to the Earths atmosphere.

I'm in the wrong business, that bunker builder is cleaning up.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@OssanAmerica, your latest "hostage" comments is an interesting comment and I don't disagree.   

NK, with ever improving nuclear and missile capabilities and behind-the-scene China and Russia backing, will continue to hold the world as "hostage", while a impotent UN can do nothing more than issue rhetorical protests and unenforceable "sanctions". 

The threats will continue until UN caves in to NK's demands: "Peace treaty" under NK terms, removal of U.S. military from the Korean Pensinsula and unification of Korea under NK regime.  

I know you've advocated total trade embargo against NK and its chief backers, China (and Russia?) and rightly so. The UN should back it up 100%,, follow through and enforce it. But realistically, you know they won't, out of fear of military and economic blackmail from China and Russia.  The only way you're going to get rid of an "outlaw" is to cut off its lifeblood until it is dead, dead, dead.  But so long as China and Russia has veto power and can limit effective sanctions, the "outlaw" will continue threats and hold "hostages". 

IF only UN and U.S. has the political will and fortitude to militarily strike NK, remove Kim Jong-un and government while simultaneously warning and threatening China and Russia to stay out.  After all is done, then there can be talks of a unified Korea under a democratic government aligned with the US-Japan-Australia Strategic Alliance.

But realistically speaking, that won't happen as long as China and Russia continues to have a say in International matters.  (Hindsight speaking, the worse thing ever done was to allow Soviet Union and PRC and their allied satellite countries into the UN and participation in the Free Trade market. But that's water under the bridge and can't turn back clock.)

5 ( +8 / -3 )

USA, Japan and the whole world should just start talking with NK by first telling them we are stopping the sanctions and the drills around your borders. Then we are starting business and trading with NK and there will be no more missiles fired.

Many times SK with UN support, tried to open dialog with NK and NK refused.  NK refuses to compromise on their agenda and refuses to give up their nuclear and missile programs until their "Final Victory" is achieved:  the "Final Victory" being removal of U.S. military from the Korean Pensinsula, surrender of SK, and unification of Korea under NK regime and world recognition of DPRK being the representing government of the unified Korea.

The U.S. and hopefully UN will never agree to those terms.

 Not to mention how may wars has USA started on other countries that was later even proven that it could not even justify their own reasoning.

@siniestro, you are parroting DPRK and PRC propaganda and promoting their lies.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Paranoid much?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

And, the funniest thing is, by the time the warnings were issued the missile was already over Hokkaido. I guess the statement is true. There is no where to run.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

What the hell is this photo trying to prove?

That Japan Survivalist and Juche Modern are not two schools of interior design, but one.

https://i.imgur.com/CyxN51u.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/EdWbjZB.jpg

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Makes the alerts pointless, just scaring the populace. Even in a concrete building or basement if it's a direct ht you are dead, if it's nuclear we're all dead. Fatboy loves all this panic and fear, it's what he wants. Why feed him?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This is a very serious problem that needs very serious and sober discussion and debate.

...and when that gets to heavy we can all have a chuckle at the people in a tiny Hokkaido fishing village who think Kim Jong-un may have his intercontinental ballistic missiles pointed at them.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

siniestroToday 09:17 am JST@OssanAmerica

Then according to your theory USA is holding the whole world a hostage. I dont want to hear that USA is not firing missiles above countries...because you know its a lie.

Tel us over what country the US is firing ballistic missiles.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

North Koreans have a huge arsenal of operational missiles, planes, submarines, ships and aircraft carriers pointed at them.

The North Koreans have always been lying creeps about all international incidents, but the US is just as big a liar.

Two lying fools with lying leaders. One leader has more years experience under his fat belt than the one has under his teased yellow hair.

How pathetic is it that these two morons are putting everyone else at risk?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

If you will look at a map of the region on Google Earth you will appreciate that there is no other straight line route that NK can shoot their long range missiles on that is less threatening to other countries than the flight path that passes over a bit of Hokkaido. Not that this makes them acceptable or innocuous but it does make them appear less deliberately provocative. There's no need for undue alarm now. Later on, perhaps, but these tests are making political statements, not posing a military threat to Japan.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Burning Bush Agreed. this constant hysteria is getting really nauseating. The mankind has been under the looming global destruction from the nuclear weapons for the last half century, Japan in particular is programmed target in the Chinese and Russian ICBMs. It's not a new threat, deal with it.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

There is nothing that Japanese citizens can do to save themselves if NK launched nukes at the country, and I doubt their nukes can be effectively shot out of the sky either..

There is one thing the Japanese government can do however to ensure that such a move by NK would guarantee their civilizational extinction, and that's by nuking up themselves for an overwhelming second strike capability. I think enough is enough now and will be raising this with the local MP

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

​しょうがない!

Here are the cold hard facts:

The latest DPRK test blast was estimated at ~250KT (KiloTons). 

This yield is estimated to have a fireball of from 1.3 ~ 4.5 (4 ~ 7 km) miles in diameter, with peripheral effects up to 45 ~ 60 miles (70 ~ 96 km) in diameter.

If the US Navy base in Yokusuka is targeted (i.e. 45km away from Tokyo; MRBM / IRBM flight time from DPRK to Japan ~10minutes), we can analyze the impact of the explosion using this calculator:

https://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I think in the event of a nuclear war, I'd prefer to die in the initial blast than survive and have to live with the devastated consequences of human folly.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

OssanAmerica: "In reality, South Korea is actually quite safe because it is North Korea's hostage, and there's nothing more useless than a dead hostage. Now it appears that North Korea wants to add Japan to it's hostage list, and eventually parts of the United States. As it's ICBM technology advances, North Korea will simply continue to add more potential "hostages"."

So long as the people you want to keep under the US/Japan's thumb are hostages, you call it something else. Don't be a hypocrite.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Anyway, this article points out a lot of why the fear mongering by the Japanese government is comical. The people directly affected in Hokkaido know and say it best when they say things like, "It's scary to know missiles are flying overhead, but what can you do?" Meanwhile Abe screams to get under your desk, cover your head, and maybe wrap a little tinfoil around yourself and your hat to protect yourself, JR stops trains (at wrong times), and announcements nation-wide scream at you in the morning so loud people overseas email in to see if you've been nuked or not -- all so they can further their agenda of militarizing Japan and leading it into the next arms' race.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

@pop

Thanks for the link.

I tried it and I can say it gives a low yield of casualties that I estimate to half the real numbers from direct hit. Scary.

Glad we can conclude nuclear power is just deterrent power.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"For me, it's just business as usual," said former businessman Noh Suk-Won, 60. "The North is flexing its military muscle to force the U.S. to engage in negotiations. It's not going to throw missiles on our heads."

I agree.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I've got a wonderful example for those who try to pass this entire NK situation as "bluff" and "meaningless". Imagine someone is pointing a gun at you. And every once in a while they pull the trigger, and while they don't hit you directly, they keep making sure you can feel the bullets flying past your body. In some cases the bullets they're firing actually graze you. Anyone with a sound mind would not put up with a person pointing a loaded weapon in the first place, let alone shooting in your general direction. NK is the one holding the gun and firing off those shots.

Enough is enough.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Where is the spirit of samurai of Japan? North Korea is making a fool of Japan. Japan is a samurai who lost his sword.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

HonestDictatorToday  02:50 pm JST

I've got a wonderful example for those who try to pass this entire NK situation as "bluff" and "meaningless". Imagine someone is pointing a gun at you. And every once in a while they pull the trigger, and while they don't hit you directly, they keep making sure you can feel the bullets flying past your body. In some cases the bullets they're firing actually graze you. Anyone with a sound mind would not put up with a person pointing a loaded weapon in the first place, let alone shooting in your general direction. NK is the one holding the gun and firing off those shots.

Enough is enough.

Or maybe North Korea is the guy at the station who pushes people onto crowded trains and each day he pushes more and more people onto trains, making them more and more uncomfortable and he knows that the crux of his life revolves around making others miserable for his company's benefit until one day he snaps and goes home and takes all his things and chucks them in the rubbish bin and books a flight to Tahiti just to get a change of scenery. And then one day while meditating on the beach he sees a turtle struggling against the waves and he goes and helps the turtle but it is too heavy and he pulls a muscle in his back and now he has to find out if his national health insurance will cover getting treatment in an unfamiliar Tahitian hospital.

Or perhaps North Korea is just North Korea and its missiles are missiles and metaphors are just a way of concealing the complexity of this issue used by people who don't want it to be what it is.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Strange how paranoid people can be when it comes to North Korea, Russia, China or Iran and would gladly overlook every nuclear and missile test the USA, the U.K., or France, even India or Israel are conducting.

There are several factors at play here.

Japan could actually defuse this and avoid any further escalation.

The wounds of the past still have to be given attention and healed.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@HonestDictator Wrong comparison. The misslie was launched toward the sky not toward JP. It flew over above 700km and how was it deemed to be aiming at JP? Where else direction can they shoot their fireworks then? That high altitude space area doesn't even belong to Japan.

Also, no one is naive here enough to believe that NK is the only country pointing a loaded weapon to their neighbors. Someone is being here in far east Asia all the way from across the Pacific to aim thier fully loaded guns to whoever around.

I'm not a NK sympathizer but don't want to be a brainwashed hypocrite either.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Here in Hakodate, Hokkaido, most people don't seem to care. The missiles are flying directly over us, but it's so high up that it doesn't matter. And as everyone said, we can't really do anything if a missile was to actually land in Hokkaido. So... Life continues as usual, minus people complaining about getting woken up too early.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Anyway, this article points out a lot of why the fear mongering by the Japanese government is comical

and here we go again......

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the blast of today nukes is nothing like the damage of years ago.  The so called basement in the photo would not cut it in the red zone of the blast. they would be dust like the rest of us.  So where to go, no where, make your peace, fight now and quit the talking.  The ART OF WAR teaches, keep you enemy talking why you build, hmmm right out of the Chinese pages....no Japan there is no where to hole up unless your far away from the blast zone.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Seth MToday 12:10 pm JST@Burning Bush Agreed. this constant hysteria is getting really nauseating. The mankind has been under the looming global destruction from the nuclear weapons for the last half century, Japan in particular is programmed target in the Chinese and Russian ICBMs. It's not a new threat, deal with it.

The flaw in your argument is that all nations which possess nuclear weapons don't go around constantly screaming how they're going to use them. Except for NK.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The Electromagnetic Pulse from an air detonation would be quite disruptive for any country. If they were to detonate something overhead, all the electronic equipment would be useless. That's the bigger threat....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's time for dialogue.

The dastardly politicians are the only ones preventing what most people want.

If only the people would launch a pre~emptive metaphorical attack on them...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Uwe PaschenToday  03:15 pm JST

Strange how paranoid people can be when it comes to North Korea, Russia, China or Iran and would gladly overlook every nuclear and missile test the USA, the U.K., or France, even India or Israel are conducting.

Apart from North Korea, are any of those nations conducting missile tests in direct violation of existing UN resolutions?

There are several factors at play here.

Japan could actually defuse this and avoid any further escalation.

No, Japan is pretty much powerless to do anything unless NK agrees to discuss the termination of he nuclear and missile development - which NK continues to state is NON NEGOTIABLE.

The wounds of the past still have to be given attention and healed.

LOL.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

EMP is not the bigger threat.

All nuclear devices are air burst.

In any event, the country would be in a nuclear war, so why would you "disrupt" an area when you could destroy it with a direct strike?

EMP effect has never been tested and no one knows the effect profile of power vs. altitude.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Let's cut the waffle. Here are Japan's options:

Ignore these missiles. They are NOT directed at Japan, and there is no way NK is going to start a war as that would be the end of their regime. So just shrug this sabre-rattling off.

Shoot the missiles down. That would reassure the Japanese people and show NK that their missiles are an empty threat, which might bring Kim Jong Un to his senses.

Try to bribe some member of the NK regime to assassinate Kim Jong Un.

In addition, the US has one further option:

Launch a nuclear strike on Pyongyang to obliterate the regime, with simultaneous strikes on all the NK missile bases.

Which option do you prefer?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Keep on believing that. Until it happens. How many of those junk missile launches ended up in the sea of Japan, or landed on the other side of Japan again? Better get out your checklist. I'm not fear-mongering, I'm looking at the reality of what's actually happening. The fact that NK is acting out like a child holding a gun, and nobody is really effectively disciplining it. Just waiting for the day when they actually hit something in Japan or elsewhere.

In addition, the US has one further option:

Launch a nuclear strike on Pyongyang to obliterate the regime, with simultaneous strikes on all the NK missile bases.

Which option do you prefer?

There is also a 2nd option to that. US, Japan, SK and allied countries in the region launch a conventional attack on NK. While it's easy to say, "Just fire a nuke" people keep forgetting how many other countries will be affected by one nuclear blast. That radiation leaves a cloud that goes with the wind and weather. SK, China, Japan, Russia, and others may experience fallout from one nuclear attack. The US military knows this, and that is why the nuclear "option" will most likely not be used unless MAD is in effect.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Don't be enablers. Ignoring and doing appeasement has done nothing effective, the results leading to the current situation are consequences of that. Just like sweeping a problem under the rug while it gets bigger and bigger until it can't be ignored....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How about a third option?

How about the US stops trying to overthrow governments? Trade with countries and make the nutcases like Bolten, Haley and McCain shut the hell up.

Trading with countries creates lesses tensions and makes people act more like adults.

Look at Vietnam. The US destroyed the country, killed millions and Vietnman now has a growing economy and everyone is better off.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I hate autocorrect.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If you are in a big city, you can go to the subway stations. They are most likely targets of a DPRK missile strike. As for radioactive fallout, there are things villages, towns and cities can do but they need the will to make it happen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At the height even if did malfunction, it would burn up in the atmosphere before hitting the surface, as it can only survive re-entry if its falling nose first at a specific angle to survive the intense heat.

Are you sure about that? I don't have my slide rule handy, but the link below says 10-40% of a satellite's mass typically survives re-entry. I don't think a missile's speed is as much as that of an orbiting satellite. And its shape is probably more conducive to surviving re-entry.

http://www.aerospace.org/cords/all-about-debris-and-reentry/spacecraft-reentry/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't worry NK is not valid any more.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

1) it is not difficult to design a small shield to protect a 50-100kilogram warhead. the ceramics necessary for heat shield building are well known and available everywhere relatively cheaply

2) the patriot missile system has a horrible record. it is very unlikely it will be able to shoot down a missile launched at a civilian target, especially considering that very few of them seem to be in place anywhere in japan

3) the high launch altitudes demonstrate the ability of the rockets to travel great distances. they only need to change the navigation parameters of the rockets to fly a flatter trajectory. the range increase vs lateral trajectory is not linear. the flatter they fly it, the farther they will go. eventually they will be able to reach orbit which means they can hit any place on earth with less than an hour's warning.

this has gone beyond the stage of whacky mind games and sabre rattling.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This is becoming comical, the rockets are flying at twice the altitude of the space station in space, 700 km about Japan.

At the height even if did malfunction, it would burn up in the atmosphere before hitting the surface, as it can only survive re-entry if its falling nose first at a specific angle to survive the intense heat.

Hey kids, quit hiding under your desks and read your science books.

People are not particularly worried about the test rockets flying over Japan, what people are quite rightly worried about is future missiles deliberately fired at Japanese targets. An entirely plausible scenario in even the short term, even if unlikely on any given day. If you take the risk of earthquakes seriously it makes sense to take the risk of missile strikes seriously too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@OssanAmericaSep. 17  11:21 am JST

Tel us over what country the US is firing ballistic missiles.

The last one was Syria on 7/4/2017

Before that it was Libya, Afghanistan, Irak, and Yugoslavia. These are all in the period where I am sure you where alive to witness.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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