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US assessing North Korea’s missile launch over Japan

LiveMint logoLiveMint 29-08-2017 Lalit K Jha

Washington: The US has confirmed that nuclear-armed North Korea fired a missile which flew over Japan today, a defence department official said.

“We assess North Korea conducted a missile launch within the last 90 minutes. We can confirm that the missile launched by North Korea flew over Japan. We are still in the process of assessing this launch,” Pentagon spokesperson Col. Rob Manning said in a statement.

He said the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) determined that the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America.

“We are working closely with the Pacific Command, the Strategic Command and the NORAD, and will provide an update as soon as possible,” he said.

The missile travelled around 2,700 kilometres (1,700 miles) at a maximum altitude of around 550 kilometres.

Tokyo said the missile overflew its territory, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe saying the government would take “full steps” to ensure the safety of the Japanese people.

No North Korean missile had overflown Japan for years, and the launch came after a strained period on the peninsula following Pyongyang’s testing of two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) last month that appeared to bring much of the US mainland within reach.

It threatened to fire a salvo of missiles towards the US territory of Guam, while US President Donald Trump issued an apocalyptic warning of raining “fire and fury” on the North, saying Washington’s weapons were “locked and loaded”. PTI

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