Missile Test Reported to have Landed in East Sea Between Korea and Japan.
Defense sources and the Japanese Prime Minister’s office have confirmed the launch of a new North Korean ballistic missile test. The test, which took place within the last several hours from South Pyongan Province early Wednesday Nov. 29 local time, is now being reported across international media.
“We confirm that we have detected a North Korean ballistic missile launch. The missile is still travelling towards the direction to the East Sea, as we are monitoring right now,” a South Korean military official told media in South Korea several hours ago. Other unconfirmed sources indicate the missile has since landed in the sea.
Sometime after the first mentions began to appear in Asian media the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office tweeted, “A missile was launched from North Korea which appears to have landed within Japan’s exclusive economic zone. As soon as new information comes in, we will let you know.”
The Pentagon tweeted, “We detected a probable missile launch from North Korea. We are in the process of assessing the situation and will provide details when available.”
Several U.S. intelligence gathering aircraft were airborne during the test, including an RC-135S Cobra Ball.
Cobra Ball airborne – Ballistic Missile detection platform. No position showing.
🇺🇸 US Air Force RC135S 61-2662 pic.twitter.com/C5Q9s3dKV7
— CivMilAir ✈ (@CivMilAir) November 28, 2017
The last North Korean ballistic missile test took place in September 2017. That missile was identified as a Hwasong-12, referred to in the U.S. as the KN-17. The Hwasong-12 has an estimated range of between 2,300 and 3,700 miles (3,700-6000 kilometers).
The type of missile in today’s test has not yet been reported.
Reports from earlier this week from U.S. intelligence sources to Reuters news agency suggested North Korea intended a missile launch test “within days”.
This latest reported missile test is significant since it follows a brief period of relative calm in the region since the September 15, 2017 test that may have provided the opportunity for new back-channel communication via China in the interest of maintaining stability in the region.
Top image: File photo of previous North Korean missile test from 2017. (Yonhap)
Winter would be a good time. We’d totally control the airspace so every time they fired an artillery or rocket piece, missile, we’d pick it up on infrared (probably a drone or an F-35, geostationary satellite) and immediately engage precision return fire.
We probably already have their systems dialed in ready to be obliterated, but if they move, we’ll know. Seoul will survive, the ROK will survive, North Korea will not. My guess is the only reason we haven’t hit them yet is because they haven’t proven out a working reentry vehicle/warhead. But the minute we see that preparation, well – THAT I believe is our tipping point. President Trump and General Mattis’s Red Line. That’s cutting it far too close for me.
Oh – THAAD can take care of any incoming potential nuclear-tipped missiles. And once we see them launch that, then, North Korea ends. Period.
I like a clear speaking U.S. Senator:
“Dictators have one thing in common—they want to stay alive; if Kim Jong Un wants to stay alive, he needs to stop. If he doesn’t, I can assure you based upon all of the activity that I have been involved with on Armed Services and also in foreign affairs—he is playing a dangerous game where he will not only be annihilated but other people will suffer greatly.”
Unfortunately tough talk isn’t enough – we need tough action. The Kim Family has totally violated the Korean Armistice, they’ve torn it up just as Hitler tore up the Munich Agreement (he referred to it as “Just a piece of paper”), so we are now, and have been for quite a while, in a de facto state of war. The U.S. and our Asian and European allies must act accordingly.
OK, here’s the bottom-line fact on why we haven’t attacked yet – via 38North, the pre-eminent website on DPRK missile development and capabilities:
“North Korea appears to have taken another minor step forward as it attempts to mature its ICBM technology. Many more tests are needed to establish the missile’s performance and reliability, and it remains unclear if the North’s engineers have attempted to validate the efficacy of the missile’s re-entry vehicle. Though North Korea continues to progress, our assessments have not changed in that a viable ICBM capable of reaching the west coast of the US mainland still remains about a year away.”
I still say the longer we wait, the more risk we incur. Kim won’t stop his nuke program unless made to do so through robust kinetic persuasion.
The political winds in both countries are at odds with your assessment. Time will tell, but if we are not able to destroy Kim’s nukes, IMO it’s just a matter of time before both countries, and others in the region, go nuclear. Given the history of war in Asia, that’s not a good thing.