TOKYO, June 22 (UPI) — Tokyo warned North Korea‘s ballistic missile Musudan might be capable of reaching Japan.
Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani told reporters Wednesday the types of missiles that could fly in Japan’s direction have multiplied, the Asahi Shimbun reported.
The development is a “great concern” to Japan’s national security, Nakatani said.
Early Wednesday, Pyongyang test launched two Musudan projectiles known to have a range between 1,800 and 2,500 miles.
The second of the two midrange ballistic missiles traveled for more than 600 miles before falling into the ocean, according to radar information from Japan’s Self-Defense Forces.
That launch indicates North Korea has made technical progress since May 31, the last time when the country launched the missile that can reach as far as the U.S. territory of Guam.
Neither of the two missiles reached Japanese territorial waters but Nakatani said the projectiles demonstrated “consistent performance.”
The defense minister also said that, depending on its direction, he thinks the Musudan is sufficiently capable of targeting Japan.
The first missile fired on Wednesday exploded in midair. Nakatani said there might have been a “fundamental flaw” to the engine and the missile body.
The activities are a serious provocation aimed at Japan and the international community, the defense minister said, and will “not be tolerated.”
Nakatani also said North Korea is likely to launch another provocation on June 25, the 66th anniversary of the 1950-53 Korean War.