The US has tested a medium-range cruise missile weeks after pulling out of a key treaty with Russia that banned such nuclear-capable weapons. The Pentagon said it successfully launched the missile off the coast of California on Sunday. Moscow accused the US of “escalating military tensions”. The US withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty on 2 August after accusing Russia of violating it – a claim Moscow denies.
Days after a mistaken missile alert was sent in Hawaii, Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK, sent false news alerts, Tuesday, saying North Korea launched a missile. The mistake was corrected and apologized for, five minutes later, by NHK. Like the Hawaii mistake, Japan cited human error, an NHK spokesperson saying, ‘staff had mistakenly operated equipment.’
Following the release of reports on the false missile alert sent earlier this month in Hawaii, administrator Vern Miyagi and executive officer Toby Clairmont of Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency have resigned. The employee who sent the alert, and has been fired, ‘confused real life events and drills’ on at least two other occasions before the alert and believed a missile attack was imminent.
An emergency alert was sent by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, Saturday, mistakenly warning of an incoming ballistic missile attack. The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) called the mistake, ‘absolutely unacceptable.’ A new procedure was put into place, Saturday, ensuring that two people must sign off before such alerts are sent.
North Korea launched another missile on Monday, the third in a month. The missile flew 280 miles and landed in the Japanese economic zone, where cargo ships and fishermen are active. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said “We absolutely cannot accept North Korea’s repeated provocations despite repeated warnings by the international community,” on Monday morning. He added that leaders at the recent Group of 7 meeting in Taormina, Sicily, had confirmed that deterring North Korea’s nuclear ambitions was a “top priority” and that Japan would work closely with the United States and South Korea to “make the utmost efforts to ensure people’s safety.”
On Sunday another missile from North Korea was launched and flew 310 miles which then landed in the sea of Japan. It posed no risk to the US. In a statement, the White House said: “We are aware that North Korea launched an MRBM. This system, last tested in February, has a shorter range than the missiles launched in North Korea’s three most recent tests.”
The U.S. has confirmed the launch of a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday. The threat from North Korea is that if directed towards the U.S., the missile could hit and travel the range to go all the way to Alaska. The missile from North Korea flew higher than any of the former, Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said “the launch continues to demonstrate that North Korea poses a threat to the United States and our allies.”
On Sunday, North Korea tested a new type of missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The United Nations Security Council, comprised of 15 people that day, demanded that Pyeongyang refrain from conducting any more tests. Vladimir Putin commented on the issue saying that the launch was very dangerous but the tactic to use against North Korea should not be “intimidation”, most likely directed at Washington, since the range of the missile was in the range of a US military base in Guam.
South Korean President Moon Jae In has suspended the deployment of the American missile defense system saying that until an environmental assessment is carried out, no further moves will continue, this may effectively take anywhere from 1-2 years. There are already 2 THAAD systems in South Korea, erected there before Moon was put into power, 4 were brought in recently without the president’s knowledge, he was notably outraged by this and stated that they will defend the country with half the THAAD system until further notice.