Japan warns that North Korea may fire missile at U.S. on Independence Day

North Korea may launch a long-range ballistic missile towards Hawaii on American Independence Day, according to Japanese intelligence officials. The missile, believed to be a Taepodong-2 with a range of up to 4,000 miles, would be launched in early July from the Dongchang-ni site on the north-western coast of the secretive country. Intelligence analysts do not believe the device would be capable of hitting Hawaii's main islands, which are 4,500 miles from North Korea. Details of the launch came from the Japan's best-selling newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun. Both Japanese intelligence and U.S. reconnaissance satellites have collated information pointing to the launch,...
DPRK 'may launch missile toward Hawaii' / Govt. studying interception over Aomori

A long-range ballistic missile North Korea is believed to have been preparing to launch from its Tongchang-ri facility in the country's northwest highly likely will be launched toward Hawaii, which would take it over Aomori Prefecture, according to analysis by the Defense Ministry.

Sources said the ministry also believes such a launch will be made as soon as early next month.
Based on the analysis and intelligence gathered by U.S. reconnaissance satellites, the ministry has moved into top gear its study on optimally deploying Aegis-equipped destroyers equipped with Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) interceptor missiles and ground-to-air Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) missiles.

According to the ministry, it has been confirmed that North Korea has missile launch bases in Kitteryong near the military demarcation line with South Korea and at Tongchang-ri near the Yellow Sea, in addition to a base at Musudan-ri in northeastern North Korea, where a long-range missile was launched on April 5.

At the Tongchang-ri facility, either a Taepodong-2 missile or an upgraded Taepodong-2 was believed to have been brought from a missile manufacturing facility near Pyongyang on May 30, according to the sources.

Based on the assumption that this latest missile is a two- or three-stage type and has capability equal or superior to the long-range ballistic missile North Korea launched in April, the Defense Ministry predicted the possibility of a launch toward Hawaii, with a launch toward Okinawa Prefecture and Guam also seen a possibility.

If it took the Okinawan path, when the first-stage booster detaches it could fall in the vicinity of a Chinese coastal area and might anger China.

In the case of the Guam path, the missile must overfly South Korea and Japan's Chugoku and Shikoku regions, which means the booster would be dumped onto a land area. Therefore, the ministry sees both possibilities as quite low, according to the sources.

N.Korean Missile Train on the Move

A special North Korean train which transported a long-range rocket or intercontinental ballistic missile to a launch site in Tongchang-ri, North Pyongan Province in May recently moved from a missile research center in Sanum-dong, Pyongyang to another launch site in Musudan-ri, North Hamgyong Province, a South Korean government source said Tuesday. South Korean and U.S. authorities believe the North may have transported a second intercontinental missile to the launch site. The North launched a long-range rocket from Musudan-ri on April 5, which had also been transported by special train.

Seoul and Washington are wondering whether the North will launch two long-range missiles from both launch sites at the same time or whether the train is just a smokescreen to confuse watchers.