North Korea Launched A Ballistic Missile That May Have Come Within 200 Miles Of Japan

North Korea launched a ballistic missile on Friday, and Japanese authorities believe it may have landed within about 200 miles of the coast of Japan.

As the Independent reported, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe promised that the safety of the Japanese people remains his number one priority with regards to North Korea.

“I have received information that North Korea once again conducted a missile firing. We will immediately analyze information and do our utmost to protect the safety of the Japanese people.”

South Korean and U.S. military officials both determined, via satellite data, that the North Koreans launched the missile. It flew for about 45 minutes before crashing in the Sea of Japan, between Japan and the Korean Peninsula. Although it’s unclear exactly where it landed, it is believed to have landed in Japan’s Economic Exclusion Zone – that is to say, Japan’s territorial waters. It is also not clear if the missile carried a nuclear payload, or any weapons for that matter.

According to the Washington Post, the missile was launched at about 11:11 p.m. Friday Pyongyang time (10:41 a.m. Eastern time).

Based on the amount of time the missile flew, Arms control expert Jeffrey Lewis speculated that it was likely an intercontinental ballistic missile, theoretically capable of flying about 6,200 miles – close enough to hit targets in the U.S.

NOrth korea launched a ballistic missile towards japan.
North Korea's ballistic missile is believed to have landed about 200 miles from Japan. [Image by Chris 73 | Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and Resized | by CC BY-SA 3.0]

On Thursday, as the Inquisitr reported at the time, North Korea threatened the United States with nuclear annihilation and even promised to launch a nuclear missile at an American target that very day. Thursday came and went with no such launch.

The secretive Asian regime is moving forward with its nuclear program despite international condemnation. Although the North is not known to have a missile capable of delivering a nuclear payload to the United States at this time, it is believed that they may have that capability by 2018.

In the meantime, authorities in Hawaii, which is easily within the theoretical range of North Korean nuclear warheads, are warning residents of a possible nuclear attack. There are no nuclear-safe bunkers or fallout shelters in The Aloha State, and residents are warned to stockpile at least two weeks of food and water. And, in the unlikely event of a nuclear strike, they should plan to be underground for at least two weeks.

[Featured Image by South Korean Defense Ministry/Getty Images]