In some news nobody wants on a Tuesday, North Korea has fired a missile over Japan. As per The Guardian, this weapon was intermediate-ranged and ballistic in nature. It’s the first time such an event has happened in five years.
This threat prompted folks in the northernmost main island of Hokkaido and the north-eastern Aomori prefecture to temporarily hide.
“North Korea appears to have launched a missile,” stated an alert. “Please evacuate into buildings or underground.”
How Has the Japanese Government Responded?
Understandably, Japan wasn’t pleased with having a missile fired over their country. As Japan’s top government spokesperson, Hirokazu Matsuno, stated, “North Korea’s series of actions, including its repeated ballistic missile launches, threatens the peace and security of Japan, the region, and the international community, and poses a serious challenge to the entire international community, including Japan.”
Moreover, Japan’s Defence Minister, Yasukazu Hamada, hasn’t ruled out attacking North Korea in response. According to the ABC, he said, “In light of this situation, we will continue to examine all options — including so-called ‘counterattack capabilities’ and not rule out anything.”
How Has the International Community Reacted to This News?
The Sydney Morning Herald has outlined that both America and South Korea have called this action “reckless.” The US Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, called it “dangerous and reckless.” Meanwhile, South Korea’s President, Yoon Suk-yeol, categorised it as “reckless nuclear provocations.”
Could a North Korean Missile Hit Australia?
Britannica has stated that intermediate-range ballistic missiles can be fired from between 965 km and 5600 km.
Assuming for the sake of argument that North Korea has top-of-the-range intermediate ballistic missiles, that could, in theory, be enough to hit Australia.
From North Korea’s most southern point to Australia’s most northern, it’s only about 5,600kms. Hypothetically, if North Korea really wanted to, they could probably take out Darwin.
It’s probably worth noting here that North Korea does indeed have missiles that could be capable of flying 10,000 kms, bringing all of Australia into the firing line.
It’s almost certainly nothing to worry about, however, given that there’s very little reason Australia would be anywhere near the list of targets if North Korea decided to start firing.
What Happened the Last Time North Korea Fired a Missile Over Japan?
The last time that this terrifying event took place was in September of 2017. At the time, the BBC reported that South Korea responded to this action by firing two ballistic missiles into the sea near North Korea. Moreover, this was just minutes after North Korea’s launch.
After North Korea’s military action took place, CNN called it a “major show of defiance to the international community.”