A Japanese newspaper is reporting that the North Korean taepodong-2 missile that failed after 42 seconds may have been pointed at Hawaii:
A North Korean missile launched on Wednesday was aimed at an area of the ocean close to Hawaii, a Japanese newspaper reported on Friday
Experts estimated the Taepodong-2 ballistic missile to have a range of up to 6,000 km, putting Alaska within its reach. Wednesday’s launch apparently failed shortly after take-off and the missile landed in the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan, a few hundred kilometres from the launch pad.
But data from U.S. and Japanese Aegis radar-equipped destroyers and surveillance aircraft on the missile’s angle of take-off and altitude indicated that it was heading for waters near Hawaii, the Sankei Shimbun reported, citing multiple sources in the United States and Japan.
North Korea may have targeted Hawaii to show the United States that it was capable of landing a missile there, or because it is home to the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific fleet, the paper said.
I commented earlier that Kim Jong-Il is like a spoiled child craving attention. I am not trying to make light of this situation. This nutcase is attempting to blackmail us into one-on-one talks, which will never happen.
Update: David Piper is on Greta’s show saying that the conservative Japanese newspaper that reported this story is quoting unnamed American and Japanese sources; however, he can’t confirm the details of the report just yet.
Update II: Ed Morrissey is following the news and writes this:
We have waited to see what analysis could be made by defense experts from the limited telemetry available about the intended target. If this proves correct, it will increase pressure on the White House to pursue a tougher line on Pyongyang and its missile tests — perhaps even pushing us towards the risky policy of hitting the launch sites before any more ICBMs fly.
Will we know which site NoKo will be launching from? We were caught off guard with the failed Taepodong-2 launch because it came from an unexected launch site. Correction: the Taepodong missile was visible; the short range missiles came from unexpected sites.
If the report is confirmed that the Taepodong missile was aimed for Hawaiian waters, then the US may have to destroy any ICBM’s that are positioned on the launch pad for fueling. Just because the first Taepodong missile failed quickly, doesn’t mean NoKo won’t get the technology right eventually.
Update III: Japan has decided to speed up its installation of a missile defense system.