Maritime personnel working around the oceans and seas of Japan have been warned by authorities to beware falling debris after North Korea test launches yet another ballistic missile.
Preliminary reports of the launch have been confirmed by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA said, Kim Jong Un was present at the launch and said that the test had been, “perfect.” The KCNA affirmed that the order came from the Supreme Leader who had been at the observation post and expressed great satisfaction with the launch. The KCNA also triumphantly reported that Kim Jong Un had declared the missile capable of mass production.
The missile was reported by the Japanese Coast Guard to have travelled vertically 500km before falling 350km to the East of North Korea. This is the seventh missile test this year for North Korea, with five of these missiles landing in the Sea of Japan.
This latest test is bound to worsen tensions with South Korea and the US, both of which are already on considerable edge about the progress made by North Korea’s missile capabilities. The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff recently opined that these launches meant North Korea had secured meaningful data to improve the credibility of its missile technology.
South Korean and American concerns, may well be justified, since it appears the recent launches signify a significant improvement in missile technology unlike the failed launches last month. These missiles are reported to use solid fuel, which is like an explosive jelly, and less corrosive than liquid fuel. Therefore, it can be easily stored in the rocket’s fuel tank, unlike the liquid alternative, which requires specially lined tanks. Solid fuel-powered missiles also need much less infrastructure, making them difficult for those monitoring North Korea’s military movements to spot.
Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has expressed his disdain over the latest test and said he intends to raise these concerns at the next G7 summit, which will be held later this week in Sicily, Italy.