While the White House spent time today urging U.S. Senators to consider the threat posed by North Korea as “urgent”, the people have Japan have received an even more ominous warning.
Japan, an ally of the United States who has deployed warships to the Korean Peninsula in recent weeks, lives within the shadow of Kim Jong Un’s so-far empty threats at all times. The island nation has been the target of several of North Korea’s more flamboyant displays of military might, given their close proximity to the hermit kingdom, with missile tests from North Korea sailing over Japan more than once in recent memory.
Now that the White House has been feverishly working on a solution to the North Korean problem, drawing a serious line in the sand regarding their nuclear capabilities, Japan has been forced into high alert. The country is now urging their citizens to be prepared for a North Korean nuclear strike at any time, given that they may only receive a mere 10 minutes of notice.
“North Korea might be talking about building missiles that can reach the United States, but Kim Jong Un’s regime already has lots of missiles that can reach Japan. So the Japanese government is preparing its citizens in case a missile comes their way — possibly with less than 10 minutes’ warning.
“The prime minister’s office issued new ‘actions to protect yourself’ guidelines this week, including for the first time instructions on how to respond if a North Korean ballistic missile is heading toward Japan.
“Three of the four missiles that North Korea launched March 6 fell within Japan’s exclusive economic zone in the Sea of Japan, the body of water that separates Japan and the Korean Peninsula. North Korea later said that it was practicing to hit U.S. military bases in Japan.
“North Korea showed almost two decades ago that it has all of Japan in its reach. In 1998, North Korea fired a Taepodong-1 missile — ostensibly for launching a satellite — over Japan and into its economic zone on the Pacific Ocean side.
“The Japanese government’s advice isn’t exactly helpful, amounting to basically: You won’t get the warning in time, but if you do, then go to a strong building.”
North Korea’s claims regarding their missile and nuclear technology have been widely refuted by experts, who believe that the leadership in Pyongyang is peddling a mixture of propaganda and rhetoric with very little in the way of high-level military capability to back it up. Japan could certainly be a target for the desperate and bratty Kim, but his larger threats to wipe out cities in California should be taking with enough salt to choke a horse.