Japan’s command to destroy North Korea missiles failed, reports say

TOKYO, Sept. 6 (UPI) — A Japanese command to “destroy” incoming North Korea missiles on Monday repeatedly failed, according to local press.

Tokyo’s self-defense forces were unable to recognize North Korea preparations for Monday’s missile test because Pyongyang used a road mobile launcher, also known as a transporter erector launcher, Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai reported Tuesday.

On Aug. 3,the SDF was also unable to identify a ballistic missile North Korea launched into Japan’s territorial waters. Tokyo subsequently issued a new order to destroy all incoming projectiles entering Japanese airspace.

Japan’s “destroy command” would lead to a sequence of events, including the deployment of SM3 interceptor missiles and Patriot missiles. The PAC system would be deployed near the site of Tokyo’s defense agency, according to the report.

On Monday, the defense ministry could not detect the three ballistic missiles North Korea fired until they landed west of Hokkaido in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

Tokyo also could not immediately confirm the results of the launch even after Seoul’s joint chiefs notified the public of the tests.

Japan press also reported the missiles have increased in strike accuracy. Each of the three missiles launched Monday traveled about 620 miles before falling into Japanese waters, according to the Nihon Keizai.

The defense ministry estimates the missiles fell between 125 and 155 miles from Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido.

Pyongyang launched the missiles to test out the missile defense systems of Japan, the United States and South Korea, local newspaper Sankei Shimbun stated Tuesday, and the Mainichi Shimbun stated North Korea launched multiple projectiles to make interception more difficult.

On Tuesday, North Korea state media focused heavily on the Monday launches. Pyongyang’s Rodong Sinmun stated all three missiles flew more than 600 miles, and KCNA reported the tests “this time” confirmed the “accuracy” and “flight safety” of the rockets.

All three missiles are the midrange Rodong missiles, North Korea stated.

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