North Korea fires missile over Japan, sharply escalating tensions

Asia Times Online reports: “North Korea fired a missile that flew over Japan and landed in waters off the northern region of Hokkaido early on Tuesday, South Korean and Japanese officials said, marking a sharp escalation of tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The test, which experts said appeared to be an intermediate-range Hwasong 12 missile, came as US and South Korean forces conduct annual military drills on the peninsula. North Korea calls the drills a preparation for invasion.

In response to the missile launch, a squadron of four South Korean F-15K fighter jets staged a live-bombing drill against a simulated target representing North Korea’s leadership facilities, Yonhap news agency reported.

The aircraft dropped eight MK-84 bombs, each weighing about a ton, at the target to show the capability of completely destroying the enemy’s leadership in case of an emergency, Yonhap said, citing the South Korean airforce.

‘Our Air Force will wipe out the leadership of the North Korean regime with the strong strike capability if it threatens the security of our people,’ Major Lee Kuk-no, who led the training mission, was quoted as saying by Yonhap…”

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