Defense White Paper Looks at N. Korea Missiles, China Intrusions

The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan), August 3, 2016 | Go to article overview

Defense White Paper Looks at N. Korea Missiles, China Intrusions


Musudan medium-range ballistic missiles of the type that North Korea launched in June have a range of about 2,500 kilometers to 4,000 kilometers if fired on a normal trajectory, according to Japan's defense white paper for 2016.

The white paper, which was approved at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, also concluded that a long-range ballistic missile that North Korea launched in February is a three-stage missile, derived from a Taepodong-2 long-range ballistic missile.

It is the first time that the white paper has disclosed the results of analysis on North Korea's recently launched missiles.

The white paper warned that Pyongyang's "entire missile development [program] is progressing further."

The second of the two Musudan missiles North Korea launched in June reached an altitude of more than 1,000 kilometers before plunging into the Sea of Japan about 400 kilometers from its launch site.

The white paper said the Musudan missile was launched on a lofted trajectory, in which a missile is fired to an altitude higher than a normal trajectory and travels a relatively short ground distance.

The white paper noted that the Musudan missile recently launched proved it had "a certain function" as a medium-range missile. With a range of 4,000 kilometers, the Musudan missile could reach the U.S. island territory of Guam, where U.S. forces have been strengthening bases.

Based on the results of the analysis on the altitude and speed of a long-rage ballistic missile North Korea fired in February, the white paper judged that the missile is a three-stage missile derived from a Taepodong-2 long-range ballistic missile and the same as the one launched in December 2012. …

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