By Bijan Razzaghi
On Monday North Korea launched a missile that flew over Japan landing in the waters east of Japan. The missile launch put the Japanese Self Defense Forces on full alert and saw wide international condemnation. The North Korean Missile launch is a sign of an increasingly aggressive posture in the Asia Pacific region. North Korea recently tested the KN-20 missile, which has the capability to possibly reach Chicago and shortly there after North Korea unveiled a nuclear device that can possibly fit inside it’s KN-20 ICMB.
The increased boldness of North Korea shows its desire to become a hegemon in the region. North Korea’s ability to hit Japan is nothing new the Hwasong 6 which is based on the SCUD-C can reach Japan and deliver both conventional and Chemical weapons. Japan can counter this threat with the MIM-104 Patriot and THAAD missile defense system the latter only being operated by the US Army. The AN/MPQ-65 phased array radar can detect the missiles shortly after launch and shoot them down before they can reach populated areas. The Patriot missile and the THAAD detonate within the proximity of the SCUD and destroy it.
It is unlikely North Korea will conduct a direct attack on Japan yet the JSDF and US forces in the region are prepared to defend Japan in case of an attack. The ability to conduct a primitive strike remains the most effect solution to counter North Korea’s missile threat. (seeAmerican Weapon Systems that can Counter North Korea’s Missile Force)