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North Korea: What stopped Japan from intercepting North Korean missile?

In the aftermath of North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile across Japan early on Tuesday morning, the Japanese government went to great lengths to reassure the public that it is taking all the necessary steps to protect them. In truth, however, there was effectively very little that the Japanese military could have done to neutralize this latest provocation by Pyongyang.

The weapon is believed to have been a nuclear-capable Hwasong-12 intermediate range ballistic missile that was fired from a site close to Pyongyang at 5:57am local time. After ascending over the Sea of Japan, the missile passed over northern Japan at an estimated altitude of 550 kilometers before apparently breaking into three parts and falling into the Pacific Ocean around 1,180 kilometers east of Hokkaido.

The missile was detected within seconds of launch - almost certainly by one of four US-operated space-based infra-red early warning satellites in geosynchronous orbit above the equator - and Japan's automatic J-Alert system issued warnings to the public through mobile phones, radios and television across northern Japan.

Read more: What stopped Japan from intercepting North Korean missile? | Asia | DW | 30.08.2017

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