Japanese Airlines to Alter Routes to avoid North Korean Missile. Seems Reasonable
A lot comes out of North Korea, and most of it ranges from incredible to unbelievable however recent statements that they will later this month Feb 2016 launch a satellite bearing rocket needs taking seriously. Seemingly thats the views of the two major Japanese airlines too. All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines.
Pyonyang announced their window for this latest piece of joy to be between February 8th-25th at least that is what they notified the UN. However one hour ago it has been reported that this window has changed to 7th-14th. Indeed CNN report that North korea today Feb 6th may have started fuelling their rocket. So where is the missile likely to be heading? Currently missile parts and debris are expected to fall into the waters off the Phillipines. So planes that fly over these areas will get diverted.
Currently reported news suggests that the window of 8th-10th Feb is when it will likely launch. This has caused great excitement in USA even over Superbowl weekend. In anticipation of the North Korean launch in the coming days, the U.S. Navy has positioned a Japan-based guided-missile destroyer, outfitted with the latest anti-ballistic missile defense technology to successfully shoot down the missile if the U.S. military thinks it is a threat to the homeland. One always wonders who makes these decisions. A lot runs through my head including are they having a good day and do they have undiagnosed Adult ADHD.
Japan are also quite reasonably interested in this launch due to their proximity. Ahead of the expected launch, Japan has deployed PAC-3 missile batteries in the downtown Tokyo to shoot down any rocket debris.
So what do North Korea know about missile testing? My opinion is that not all is known and what we do think we know may be fallible, however there are known tests 1993-2014 and North Korea has also fired a number of short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan (East Sea of Korea), apparently as political gestures.
South Korea remain largely unimpressed by this missile launch. South Korea called the plan a “direct challenge against the international community,” and warned that North Korea would pay a “grave price” if it went ahead.
So should we be concerned? Frankly yes. Actions such as these from North Korea may lead to other later joy and happiness. But the real question is what exactly are they doing?
Though North Korea says it’s putting a satellite into orbit, the launch may be viewed as a front for a ballistic missile test.
U.S. officials have said the same type of rocket used to launch the satellite could also be used to fire a long-range missile.