Jiji PressSEOUL (Jiji Press) — North Korea is considering a plan to simultaneously fire four intermediate-range ballistic missiles to areas around Guam through the sky above western Japan, state-run Korean Central News Agency reported on Thursday, quoting a senior military commander.
The Hwasong-12 missiles would fly over Shimane, Hiroshima and Kochi prefectures, before falling into waters 30 kilometers to 40 kilometers off the U.S. Pacific island, Gen. Kim Rak Gyom, commander of the Korean People’s Army’s Strategic Force, said on Wednesday, according to the report.
The missiles are expected to travel 3,356.7 kilometers in 1,065 seconds, or 17 minutes and 45 seconds, the report said.
The operation plan is reported to be finalized by mid-August and submitted to North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un. The missiles will then be readied for launch upon his order.
The disclosure of the specific plan is apparently intended to be a threat to the United States, Japan and South Korea.
In August 1998, the second stage of a Taepodong-1 long-range ballistic missile fired by North Korea passed over Japan and fell into waters off the Sanriku coast along the Pacific Ocean. In April 2009, the second and third stages of another North Korean long-range ballistic missile fell into the Pacific after flying over the Tohoku region.
In December 2012 and February 2016, North Korean missiles flew over the southern prefecture of Okinawa.
In the KCNA report, the North Korean general also said the military is considering allowing North Korean people to watch the historic enveloping fire around Guam.
He rejected U.S. President Donald Trump’s “fire and fury” warning to North Korea, saying that Trump does not understand the current situation.
On May 14 this year, North Korea test-fired a Hwasong-12, the reclusive country’s new surface-to-surface liquid-fuel IRBM with a range of 5,000 kilometers. It is believed to be an improved version of the failure-prone Musudan missile with a range of 4,000 kilometers.
North Korea has claimed that the IRBM can be loaded with a nuclear warhead.