In the Miyagi and Yamagata prefectures, air raid sirens began to sound around 07:50, and TV broadcasts were cut off to warn viewers to seek cover. A missile fired from North Korea, according to the Japanese coast guard, was going over Japan. Later, they withdrew the claim, claiming that the missile had splashed down in the Sea of Japan without going through Japanese territory.
Japanese authorities monitoring the missile seem to have assumed it would pass over Japan based on the original trajectory and the duration of the flight (about 30 minutes). Instead, it appears to have had a “lofted trajectory” that took it into space before descending sharply and landing in the Sea of Japan. Therefore, everyone should relax and resume drinking their morning coffee because the alarm was false. Actually, no. First off, it’s not normal behaviour to launch ballistic missiles at your neighbours without giving them any advance notice and leaving them to estimate where the missile will land. It goes completely against international norms and is exceedingly provocative and hazardous.
Second, this comes a day after North Korea fired a record number of missiles into the waters off the coast of South Korea. It might be a precursor to a larger test, such as a nuclear test, a full long-range ballistic missile launch in the Pacific, or even both.
This is a strategy Pyongyang has used in the past to attract attention from across the world, particularly from Washington, and pressure South Korea, Japan, and the United States into making concessions and opening up a conversation. Now it is doing it once more.
Only a few days remain before the pivotal US mid-term elections, and Mr. Kim will be hoping that showcasing his military prowess will concentrate minds in the US capital.
However, Pyongyang has a long way to go until its missile technology, especially its long-range missiles and re-entry vehicles, is perfected. Thus, the United States, as well as Japan are the targets of experiments like these. The United States is where North Korea wants to be able to launch dependable long-range weapons.
Even though North Korea may have intended to intimidate Japan, the opposite is happening. The country’s post-war pacifist constitution has long been opposed by Japan’s right wing, which has long called for re-arming the nation.
Pyongyang provides it with all the reasons it requires, along with China’s rising influence. An increasing portion of the Japanese populace now favours complete rearmament.
The defence ministry in Tokyo is recommending tripling the defence budget and, for the first time, buying long-range strike missiles that can hit targets inside North Korea.