All networks reported at noon on the announcement by North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun that North Korea test-fired a new type of long-range cruise missile on Saturday and Sunday in its first missile test since March of this year. Fuji TV said the projectiles flew for more than two hours and hit a target about 1,500 km away from the launch site, adding that this means most of Japan is within the range of the missile. The network said since cruise missiles fly lower than ballistic missiles, they are less detectable by radar, adding that the South Korean media reckons the cruise missiles could neutralize South Korea’s missile defense system.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato reportedly told the press this morning: “If the reports are true, this poses a threat to the peace and security of the region surrounding Japan. We are concerned.” He went on to say: “With regard to North Korea’s military moves, we will continue to work closely with the United States and South Korea to collect and analyze necessary information and conduct monitoring and surveillance. Furthermore, we will deal with any type of threat from the air based on the National Defense Program Guidelines and the Mid-Term Defense Program and strengthen our comprehensive missile defense capabilities.” According to NHK, Kato disclosed that the projectiles were not detected within Japan’s EEZ.