North Korea nuclear-capable missile fired over Japan in ‘biggest ever test’ that would be able to hit US ba… – The Sun

NORTH Korea fired a nuclear capable missile over Japan in its biggest ever test – with the devastating weapon capable of reaching US military bases on the island of Guam.
Japanese residents were sent fleeing for cover as chilling air raid sirens sounded and people were urged to seek safety underground from the missile.
Mercifully the North Korean missile sailed harmlessly over head before crashing down into the Pacific Ocean.
The weapon, understood to be an intercontinental ballistic missile, landed with a splash after blasting 2,800 miles.
It is believed to be longest ever flight by one of Kim Jong-un's weapons.
And chillingly it shows the rogue ruler's weapons can now hit Guam – a US controlled island home to 154,000 people and 22,000 military servicemen.
US troops are stationed there at Andersen Air Force Base and Naval Base Guam – and it also often welcomes B2 stealth bombers.
North Korea has often threatened Guam while sparring with the US – with the military base being one of the closest US facilities not in Japan or South Korea.
During the height of war tensions some five years ago with Donald Trump promised "fire and fury", Pyongyang even vowed to bring down an "enveloping fire" on Guam.
Guam – only about 30 miles long and 4 miles across at its narrowest point – is located about three-quarters of the way from the US state of Hawaii to the Philippines
The missile test is believed to have been of a Hwasong-12 – a 25 ton, 54ft missile which can carry warhead payloads of up to 1,500lbs.
Meanwhile, US and South Korean forces held massive war games – with a "precision bombing drill".
Lee Choon Geun, an honorary research fellow at South Korea’s Science and Technology Policy Institute, said the test “truly places Guam within striking distance".
He said this launch was likely a proof of concept before the weapon enters mass production.
Japanese officials issued evacuation notices and suspended some public transport services during the missile's flight on Tuesday.
Trains were stopped as the long-range ballistic missile flew over the neighbouring nation after being launched from the Jagang Province.
Panic quickly spread throughout Japan after a string of emergency announcements urging people to seek safety.
A statement from the country's Prime Minister's Office warned residents to "evacuate inside a building or underground".
But authorities did not have to intervene with any defence measures to destroy the missile, which later landed in the Pacific Ocean.
There were no reports of any damage to any aircraft or ships despite reportedly landing 1,990 miles off the northern Japanese coast.
PM Fumio Kishida later slammed the firing as a "reckless act" that he "strongly condemns" after his people were left scrambling.
Officials warned North Korea "poses a serious challenge to the entire international community," amid the surprise firing – the first time a missile has flown over Japan since 2017.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff warned Kim Jong-un will likely continue with worrying missile launches to antagonise his foes.
But the bold power play will only deepen North Korea's international isolation and prompt Seoul and Washington to bolster their deterrence capacities.
Japan's top government spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno added: "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."
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said he had consulted with Japanese officials over the phone in wake of the missile launch.
He reiterated his nation's "ironclad commitments to the defence of Japan," while promising to advance its efforts to limit North Korea's nuclear abilities.
Both South Korea and Japan quickly gathered for their own emergency national security council meetings.
North Korea's dramatic show of strength is believed to be in retaliation to military drills between the South and the US in Japan last week.
The military muscle-flexing saw the allies stage trilateral anti-submarine exercises with Japanese naval forces.
Kim Jong-un reportedly views the training exercises as a rehearsal for invasion – seeing him shoot back with a nuclear warning.
But South Korea and the US military hit back with a precision bombing drill on Tuesday in response to the dictator's taunt.
Four F-15Ks of the Korean Air Force and four F-16 fighters of the United States Air Force participated in the exercise.
The South's F-15K fired two air-to-ground joint direct strike bullets (JDAM) at a virtual target in the West Sea.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff said: "Through this combined attack squadron flight and precision bombing training, they have demonstrated their will to respond decisively to any provocation from North Korea, the ability to precisely strike the origin of the provocation with the overwhelming power of the alliance, and a readiness to punish."
They added that their military is "maintaining a firm readiness" in preparation for further North Korean "provocations".
Before Tuesday's launch, the 2,300-mile-long flight of Hwasong-12 in 2017 was North Korea's longest.
It has previously tested intercontinental ballistic missiles at steep angles so they flew shorter.
Earlier this month, Japan said it would resume evacuation drills for residents amid the uptick in North Korean launches.
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