TV screens in Japan show news reports on the launch of a North Korean missile on Friday morning. Photo: KIERON CASHELL
politics

Japan protests after N Korea fires missile over Hokkaido

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By Jack Kim and William Mallard

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Another one over northern Japan? Or into the Sea of Japan?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

A coupla successful intercepts, and maybe he'll stop doing that. Just make sure to blast the theme from the old Nintendo Duck Hunt game over loudspeakers into NK.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

All it will take for NK to be annihilated is for falling missile parts to hit a passenger jet on route from Japan to the US.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

TAKE COVER! INCOMING!

or

yawn

Which is more applicable?

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Get the anti-missile defenses working quickly.... beyond that I think everybody should not make a big deal of this. Why? Because the bigger the News this becomes, the more the idiot i n NK loves it. You're at the store, your child has a temper tantrum because you won't buy him candy.... what do you do. Years ago.... you could give the kid a good whack and that shut him up.... now, you cant or shouldn't. So you basically ignore the little idiot until he gives up. But you do not.... absolutely do not buy the kid candy.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Now that North Korea has nuclear capability there won't be any war.

Just as Russia downed a South Korean jet and Russia placed missiles in Cuba there wasn't any action taken by South Korea nor the US.

Escalation where all sides can annihilate each other is the deterrent......

2 ( +6 / -4 )

This is all to save face. Any move by the UN or comment by Donald will lead to another missile. Let it die out.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Just as Russia downed a South Korean jet and Russia placed missiles in Cuba there wasn't any action taken by South Korea nor the US.

> Say what? You do know about something called the Cuban Missile Crisis, I assume?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

NK is making Japan look very weak, indeed.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Shooting it down over land would cause flaming wreckage to fall over a wide area. Better just to let it go.

Schoolkids probably happy - I'm sure at least the the school day start was delayed.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

again? Just what is that korean version of Porky Pig trying to acheive?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I'll say it again. Kim has grown up in cossetted and bizarre circumstances and has always been, as he is now surrounded with fawning yes-men.

There are no guarantees that he is rational or realistic, in fact the odds are against it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@kawabegawa198 - You make a very good and valid point. The probability of a missile or parts hitting a commercial airliner is very low, but the consequences are extreme.

What Kim is doing is dangerous and extraordinarily provocative. Launching missiles over the land of another sovereign state is insane and it is amazing the amount of restraint Japan, South Korea, and the U.S. is exercising over this. To me Kim seems to be much more dangerous than his 2 predecessors and at sometime there needs to be something done to put an end to this (and I am not sure what that something is).

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Shooting at it and missing it would cause even more flaming wreckage to fall within the Japanese political landscape. Govt. is not risking that.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

gaihonjinToday 07:41 am JSTNK is making Japan look very weak, indeed.

The "Peace" constitution prevents doing anything other than complain.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

And the point is? What does the human Panda want? What does he expect? Death by Americans or World domination a huge stature in every nation commemorating his astonishing manliness.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Unfortunately, possible Nuclear War is dependent on the nuclear power that is the least stable, and N.K. is the obvious choice. In history, a lot of wars were started by dictators to distract the millions of people under their rule from the daily starvation and other deprivations.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Fred. You make some good points.

However what do you suggest be done about Kim/North Korea. He is launching missiles over Japan, has detonated a nuclear bomb with radionuclides being detected in South Korea, has assassinated his half brother at Kuala Lampur International Airport and is a tyrant to his own citizens.

Your point about failing to learn from history (which I agree with) cuts both ways. Failure to stop a potential tyrant can have catastrophic consequences.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Other nations can stop North Korea. Japan is not and should not ever be back in a position where it can wage war again.

What exactly is the benefit going to be of sending millions of Japanese troops to die against an NK army born and bred for the purpose of fighting to the death? One of the largest militaries on the planet?

Is anyone here actually stupid enough to think Japan is going to win a fight with North Korea by changing its constitution? You are dreaming.

China and the US need to deal with North Korea. Kim Jong Un needs to be hanged and his top leadership executed or exiled. The country's political system must be dismantled and Korea must be reunited.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I don't know why people make light of this or him, just calling him names or mocking his appearance.

HE'S LAUNCHING ROCKETS OVER JAPAN AND THEY'RE TRAVELING OVER 2,300 MILES!

His whole goal is to create a nuke that can destroy his enemies and in the past year he's showing himself to be quite capable of achieving this.

Either you sit back and allow a maniac build a nuclear arsenal or the US, S Korea, and Japan will have to make the sacrifice to stop him and tell China and Russia to screw off.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@kawabegawa198, North Korea has bomb commercial aircraft before. Blown up warships before. Attacked downtown Seoul before. There was no ‘annexation’, calm down dear.

North Korea is nuclear, that much is clear and now has a delivery system, even if it is ‘point and fire’, no guidance as such. So, well, we need to follow the doctrine of containment, BUT, what is worrying is the very real possibility that a device ‘finds it way’ to a terrorist organisation. That’s my main worry.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Kim Jong Un had better tread very carefully, unless he's ready to face the unthinkable wrath of being Tweeted at and having the number of textiles he can export further limited...

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in an interview with Sky News on Friday. "This is a sign, I believe, of their frustration at the increased sanctions on North Korea, recently imposed by the Security Council. It's a sign that the sanctions are working."

Hmmm. Could also mean zero F given.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If Japan can make A-bombs as well as she can make automobiles then China better do something quickly about that puppet state she created because the status quo is now intolerable. China will be 100% responsible for the coming arms race in the Western Pacific and then she will really have something to worry about.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

NK missile(s) data according to South Korea's military? I don't understand. Why not Japan Defense Forces data?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Although I agree that this is just a response to the recent tightening of sanctions on NK, hilariously and incompetently suggested by some sweetheart JT posters as provocative to NK, this is very dire indeed as now NK will be sending all their future missiles over Japan now that they know nothing will be done about it.

It is now time to shoot all their test missiles out of the sky or on the launch pad. Life cannot continue like this in Japan where people have to worry about their children being nuked 24 hours a day. Such provocations wouldn't be tolerated anywhere else on Earth and the appeasers who would have us bend over and accept such violations are starting to look suspicious

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Kawabehawa: "All it will take for NK to be annihilated is for falling missile parts to hit a passenger jet on route from Japan to the US."

you sound almost most hopeful in tone.

Anyway, Japan and US called on bluff again.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I think Japan should stay out of it. Stay quiet and let the missles fly over it and let the big boys (US, China etc) negotiate with NK. Clearly NK can hit Japan if they want to, so why provoke them?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I predict a "small scale missile accident" by February of next year that wipes out significant portions of the NK leadership and all of the Kim clan. That will be the euphemism for a decapitation strike corrdianted by the US and China. The US will assissinate Kim and China will install the next government supported by US aid and the promise to not move their military any closer to the North Korean border. Neither China nor South Korea want reunification and neither country wants thousands of refugees streaming into their country. On the other hand, Kim's actions are unacceptable and need to be stopped. The "accident" scenario stops Kim and allows China to keep the buffer of North Korea.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Amazing what "protests" have done so far

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is an impermissible violation of Japan's sovereignty. Japan will respond. By dumping Art. 9

Since Dummy''s. Fire and Fury, North Korea has fired two mussels over Japan and detonated a nuclear bomb.
-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Either you sit back and allow a maniac build a nuclear arsenal or the US, S Korea, and Japan will have to make the sacrifice to stop him and tell China and Russia to screw off.

That's the million-dollar question, isn't it - whether Kim is a maniac or a rational actor. I've been reading plenty and pondering this a lot over the last few months, and I'd go with the latter. Kim has two main strategies - to build a robust nuclear deterrence and to start direct talks with the US - both of which point to one goal: the perpetuate his regime. (In fact, all of NK exists to further that goal.) He's seen what happened to Gadaffi and Hussein, both of whom gave up their nuclear programs under pressure, both of whom were hanged.

Kim knows that there are red lines which, if crossed, will lead to the sudden and violent destruction not just of his regime but of his very person. He would rather avoid that, so while he may push and probe, he will not go too far. That's why I found the panic in northern Japan this morning so ridiculous - as if Kim would start a war he cannot win by nuking Tohoku. At least he achieved his goal: to make people panic (most of this thanks to the panicky Japanese government) and to garner attention.

It may be best to allow him to continue but to let him know that, if he does, the sanctions will remain in place and there will be no talks. The sanctions are beginning to bite, and dissatisfaction among the elite will grow. Also, the US Aneeds to be very clear with China that, if the Kim regime does fall, the US will not advance north of the 38th and, once SK has the north under control, will depart the peninsula. Panic is counter-productive. It is what Kim wants. NK is a nuclear state. We can live with that more easily than Kim can.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I predict a "small scale missile accident" by February of next year that wipes out significant portions of the NK leadership and all of the Kim clan. That will be the euphemism for a decapitation strike corrdianted by the US and China. The US will assissinate Kim and China will install the next government supported by US aid and the promise to not move their military any closer to the North Korean border. Neither China nor South Korea want reunification and neither country wants thousands of refugees streaming into their country. On the other hand, Kim's actions are unacceptable and need to be stopped. The "accident" scenario stops Kim and allows China to keep the buffer of North Korea.

Would that this were true. Sadly it would require sense and cooperation on the part of PRC. As I am sure you realize, common sense and a spirit of cooperation are utterly lacking in that region of the world.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

May we have an explanation as to why this missile was not shot down? What say you, USA?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

So NK fired another missile over Japan? Latest sanctions had no effect, as predicted.

Japan's radar detection knew it wasn't going to hit land so why waste a Patriot or THAAD missile on a high trajectory it wasn't designed to intercept anyway? NK missile reached a altitude of 770km over Japan, outside the range of the Patriot and THAAD missiles. But you guys would insist interception and when it fails (predictably), you all will say, "useless piece of junk".

This latest NK firing is just another scare tactic provocation to "rattle our cages" to force the UN and U.S. to the negotiation tables in Pyongyang to sign a "peace treaty" under NK's terms that would: (a) withdraw all U.S. forces from Korean Peninsula, (b) unify the two Koreas under DPRK leadership, which would essentially be the end of South Korea, and (c) world recognition of DPRK as the legitimate ruling government of the Unified Koreas. That's always been DPRK's "final victory" goals.

Hope the UN and U.S. doesn't cave in to these terms.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

No advance warning? Isn't that the whole point of having things like the Aegis missile defence system? How was Japan not able to detect and intercept this missile? It's a very alarming thing to come to light. It shows that Japan is more or less completely vulnerable to a missile strike. Japan seriously needs to step up its defences in order to protect its people from these missiles. The next one might not hit the sea. It might hit Tokyo.

China in turn favours an international response to the problem.

The international response ought to be imposing a mountain of sanctions upon China, since they're the ones refusing to rein in North Korea's actions, and since they're the ones providing pretty much all of its oil. We need to put pressure on China to do something about North Korea. Put them into a position where they have no choice but to do so. Sanctions on North Korea alone aren't going to be enough. Not even close. If China finds itself completely cut off in terms of import and export, it'll have no choice but to take action, or else collapse as a nation.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

And the truth is that Japan doesn't have anything for fighting North Korea but try to intercept missiles

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This latest NK firing is just another scare tactic provocation to "rattle our cages" to force the UN and U.S. to the negotiation tables in Pyongyang to sign a "peace treaty" under NK's terms that would: (a) withdraw all U.S. forces from Korean Peninsula, (b) unify the two Koreas under DPRK leadership, which would essentially be the end of South Korea, and (c) world recognition of DPRK as the legitimate ruling government of the Unified Koreas. That's always been DPRK's "final victory" goals.

'A' may be possible, but I can never see 'B' or 'C' happening.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

paradoxboxToday 08:27 am JSTOther nations can stop North Korea. Japan is not and should not ever be back in a position where it can wage war again.

"Waging war" and Defending yourself are two different things. The constitution already allows Japan to defend itself.

Is anyone here actually stupid enough to think Japan is going to win a fight with North Korea by changing its constitution? You are dreaming.

Changing the constitution to the extent of allowing improving defense isn't going to "win a fight" because that's not the objective. But it will definitely increase the odds of protecting the country and it's people.

China and the US need to deal with North Korea. Kim Jong Un needs to be hanged and his top leadership executed or exiled. The country's political system must be dismantled and Korea must be reunited.

Not going to happen. China has no intention of removing the Kim regime. If they did they would have already done it. You're citing idealistic solutions that have little to no chance of happening.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The USA should fire a missile over the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm waiting for these guys to miscalculate one day and then they will know that they are the ones who messed up.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

BluewaterToday 10:29 am JSTAnd the truth is that Japan doesn't have anything for fighting North Korea but try to intercept missiles

A sad reality. Which is why Japan needs to revise it's constitution to allow the purchase of the Taurus cruise missile systems from Germany for their F-15 fleet. Japan already has inflight refueling capability.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Instead of just ordering North Korea to cease and desist, why not talk to them. Nothing can ever be solved by just telling people what to do.

As for shooting down the missiles, it is currently impossible, they are too high.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Last one went down into eastern seaside.. N Korea mentioooned failed. This time, a little northeast and fell in sea again... Do Japan installed PAC3 missile interception system all over in Japan now?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Firstly KJU never needed a nucular weapon for Japan. Just needed to target a nucular power plant. I am extremely concerned for my dear friends in Nippon. These missiles are bad and they are happening in response to the pressure the leaders putting on kju making him angry.

Secondly Turnbulls comment about sanctions working.His comments are mundane and pointless. That man will really say anything tell him to. He is a puppet prime minister

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Hello Kitty 321Today 10:52 am JST Instead of just ordering North Korea to cease and desist, why not talk to them. Nothing can ever be solved by just telling people what to do.

Firstly, Pres Moon already approached NK to "talk". He was ignored. Secondly, the objective of any talks would be to get NK to cease their nuclear and missile development. NK has repeatedly stated that their nuclear and missile development is NOT NEGOTIABLE. You can't "talk" to someone who doesn't want to "talk" to you.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Surprised the CIA have not initiated civil war internally within NK, do they not have Korean speakers who can infiltrate and bring about change?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Haha, you've got to hand it to Fat Boy Un, he's got cojones the size of basketballs!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Kim is playing with fire. Does he have a death wish?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I predict a "small scale missile accident" by February of next year that wipes out significant portions of the NK leadership and all of the Kim clan. That will be the euphemism for a decapitation strike corrdianted by the US and China. The US will assissinate Kim and China will install the next government supported by US aid and the promise to not move their military any closer to the North Korean border.

Never happen. The UN, China and Russia would never condone a U.S-led assassination coup no matter how troublesome Kim continues to be.  But on the other hand, I can see China and Russia removing Kim AFTER unification of the two Koreas with a more docile and controllable "President" so long as he is aligned with China/Russia agenda.

promise to not move their military any closer to the North Korean border.

DPRK and China wants the U.S. military forces OUT of the Korean Pensinsula. Where would they be relocated? Most likely to Japan and Okinawa. ("voiceofokinawa" would have a massive meltdown.)

Neither China nor South Korea want reunification and neither country wants thousands of refugees streaming into their country.

Not so. China would welcome a Unified Korea with a ruling government aligned with China's agenda, which would serve to strengthen China's influence in Asia. As for South Korea, unification treaty would mean the "surrender" to North Korea.

However one wants to mock North Korea's leader as a "squalling baby who waves nuclear-tipped missiles around to get attention", we won't get anywhere unless we face up to the true nature of North Korea's goal: Unification under DPRK regime, and prevent it from happening. The challenge will be a unified Korea under a neutral government acceptable to UN, U.S, China and Russia......if at all possible.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just to cool down the people in favor of full embargo of fuel to North Korea , be aware that you can make synthetic fuel from coal ....And NK has plenty of it. Germany manufactured a lot of synthetic fuel during second world war to supply the Wehrmacht as they never had access to major sources of petrol and had an embargo...Therefore , it is unfortunate to say but a full embargo on fuel might not work to stop the fat Kim.

I suppose they already took countermeasures about that...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

lomaeToday 10:42 am JSTThis latest NK firing is just another scare tactic provocation to "rattle our cages" to force the UN and U.S. to the negotiation tables in Pyongyang to sign a "peace treaty" under NK's terms that would: (a) withdraw all U.S. forces from Korean Peninsula, (b) unify the two Koreas under DPRK leadership, which would essentially be the end of South Korea, and (c) world recognition of DPRK as the legitimate ruling government of the Unified Koreas. That's always been DPRK's "final victory" goals.

'A' may be possible, but I can never see 'B' or 'C' happening.

If 'A' does happen, that would invite NK to invade SK.   Given NK now armed with nuclear weapons and IRBM/ICBM missiles, will force 'B' and eventually 'C' to happen....with China and Russia demanding it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The missile reached an altitude of about 770 km (480 miles)

For reference, the rocket flew at about twice the altitude of the International Space Station.

Does Japan own that airspace?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

When I was young, I thought adults and world leaders were very smart and mature.  

Little did I know.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

toshiko: "Last one went down into eastern seaside.. N Korea mentioooned failed. This time, a little northeast and fell in sea again... Do Japan installed PAC3 missile interception system all over in Japan now?"

You seem to point out the obvious and call it failure without taking into account the other things that make it obviously a success. It's like the other day when you suggested NK was stupid for testing a nuclear weapon underground instead of above, and so they are desperate and it was a failure. Of COURSE the missile is going to fall into the sea at the end of it's flight -- that is the plan. Ergo, it was a huge success for NK's ICBM program. Now, had it spluttered and fell on Japan, unplanned, THAT would have been a failure. THey also succeeded in showing they can quite simply reach the island of Guam, and very easily strike Japan, a day after saying they would turn the US to ashes and "sink" Japan. On the flip-side, what has the tough talk and sanctions done? Turnbull is not very well informed of the situation if he thinks Kim testing another missile is a sign of "desperation" and the sanctions working.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Japan's missile defense system is incapable of intercepting a Mainland Japan ICBM. This is they simply do not have the time to do so. It takes 15 minutes (or less) from launch to impact. This means they have 8 minutes to intercept it over the Japan sea. It takes at least 5 minutes to indentify and plot the tragectory of a DPRK ICBM. this means Japan has only 2-3 minutes to shoot it down giving them only one shot at it. It's just not gonna happen.

Li'l Kim is playing a child's game of lobbing stones over a neighbor's house. Every child knows that, sooner or later that neighbor is gonna come out and fill your ass with buck-shot.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"You're at the store, your child has a temper tantrum because you won't buy him candy.... what do you do. Years ago.... you could give the kid a good whack and that shut him up.... now, you cant or shouldn't. So you basically ignore the little idiot until he gives up. But you do not.... absolutely do not buy the kid candy."

That's great, and mostly I'd agree with you. But what do you do when the kid knocks glasses off the shelf, takes the candy and eats it, and starts kicking old ladies.

There are naughty kids, and then there are kids who are totally out of control, and ignoring them just makes them do things until they are impossible to ignore.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

An attack on N. Korea might provoke China to take military action just as an attack on Japan would provoke the U.S. to act militarily. North Korea . . . Made in China.

China has to be either all in or all out with the UN before deciding to take military action against N. Korea. Otherwise, we're on the road to WWIII.

Another problem with just turning a blind eye to N. Korea and saying they're no different from any of the other major nuclear powers is the problem of nuclear proliferation and the increased possibility that terrorists will be able to acquire a nuclear device.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Its fair to say the idea of denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula is out the window, even though the U.S, Japan, South Korea and most importantly, China, continue to call for it.

That's what I don't really understand about the call by Russia and China for dialogue. Both, and in particular China, wan't NK to get rid of its nukes. The Chinese are still adamant about that. And N.K is equally adamant that it will never happen. So what's the conversation going to be about? Seems pointless to me.

N.K will keep going and keep advancing their program, albeit at a slower rate with far less money to splash around. Once S.K and Japan ultimately realize that denuclearisation is impossible. Once they finally accept the truth, expect S.K to go nuclear first, followed by Japan. There is no choice. You can't rely on the U.S. And you can't expect N.K to hold off with two conventionally armed countries within easy striking range.

Mutually Assured Destruction in North Asia is all but guaranteed at this rate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

North Korea is pulling the whiskers of a sleeping giant, with its provocative missile tests me thinks, a Giant I would sooner slumber, for all our sakes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Talking with North Korea juat does not work. Making agrements with North Korea does not work as the DPRK breaks the agrements.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I guess "fire and fury" referred to Trump tweets!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

....is there any reason why Japan just won't shoot it down?

That's what I don't really understand about the call by Russia and China for dialogue. Both, and in particular China, wan't NK to get rid of its nukes. The Chinese are still adamant about that. And N.K is equally adamant that it will never happen. So what's the conversation going to be about? Seems pointless to me.

...I think the point is to try to deescalate the situation by trying to make countries stop making provocative rhetoric and actions (missile launches and military drills) on all sides. Talking and dialogue does that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan's anti-missile capability is limited, ie short-range against descending missiles.

For those last 2 NK missiles you need THAAD or Aegis Ashore capabilities.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ThePBot: "....is there any reason why Japan just won't shoot it down?"

Because they would almost certainly miss. That would look even worse than just talking about it and doing nothing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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