What is Hwasong-12? Why did North Korea fires the missile over Japan? Explained

What is Hwasong-12? Why did North Korea fires the missile over Japan? Explained

Hwasong-12: On October 4, nuclear-armed North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan for the first time in almost five years, urging a warning for northeastern region citizens to take shelter and a temporary suspension of train service in northern Japan.

The Japanese government advised citizens to take cover as the missile appeared to have flown over and past its territory before falling into the Pacific Ocean. Let’s see What is Hwasong-12 and Why did North Korea fire it over Japan in detail.


What is a Hwasong-12 missile?

The Hwasong-12 is a portable, intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) developed by the North Korean government. The Hwasong-12 was initially introduced to the world on April 14, 2017, during a military parade on President Kim’s birthday on the “Day of the Sun”.

The Hwasong-12 has a 4,500-kilometer range. On May 14, 2017, it was successfully test-launched for the first time. It is “capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead,” the Korean Central News Agency claims.

The propulsion mechanism of the Hwasong-12 appears to be a variation of the Russian RD-250 rocket engine, which powers the Russian SS-18 ICBM. The Hwasong-12 has undergone at least seven flight tests in North Korea, with four successful and three unsuccessful attempts.

The US  is directly and substantially threatened by North Korea’s repeated missile tests, which also include intermediate-range ballistic missiles. These tests also constitute a significant threat to global peace and stability.


Why did J-alert issued in Japan?

It is the first “J-alert” since 2017, Japanese authorities advised inhabitants in the northeastern regions to seek shelter in neighboring buildings. In Japan’s Hokkaido and Aomori regions, trains were briefly put on hold until regular operations were restored in response to a government alert that the North Korean missile appeared to have landed in the Pacific.

According to the Japanese prime minister’s office, at least one missile fired from North Korea was believed to have fallen in the Pacific Ocean after flying over Japan. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that the shooting, which came after recent launches by North Korea, is a reckless act.

There have not yet been any early reports of damage following North Korea’s missile launch, according to Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno.


Real-world test

According to Kim Dong-yup, a former South Korean Navy officer who now teaches at Kyungnam University, the Hwasong-12 IRBM, which North Korea unveiled in 2017 as part of its threatened plan to strike Guam, may have been the missile based on the initial flight details revealed by South Korea and Japan.

Mr. Kim said that the Hwasong-12 was also tested in Jagang Province in January. It was employed in tests conducted in 2017 that soared over Japan.

Analysts claimed North Korea’s rapid development of missile technology is assisting in the operationalization of more of its weapons, the development of new capabilities, and the sending of a signal that the world should acknowledge its sovereign right to create weapons.

United Nations Security Council resolutions prohibit North Korea from developing missiles and nuclear weapons.


Responses to the missile launch

Japan’s leading government spokesperson, Hirokazu Matsuno, stated at a news conference that North Korea’s actions, mainly its repeated launches of ballistic missiles, constitute a threat to the peace and security of Japan, the region, and the international community.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff of South Korea claimed to have also spotted the launch of what it claimed to be a ballistic missile that was fired from the northern interior region of the North. It said that in close association with the US military, South Korea has strengthened its monitoring posture and maintains readiness.
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said it is an intermediate-range missile with 4,000-kilometer range (2,485 miles). It is range that Guam falls under. Yoon said that he requested a National Security Council meeting to address the launch and that the South and the global community would respond strongly to the North’s “reckless nuclear provocations.
In what was perceived as an apparent reaction to bilateral military exercises between South Korea and the United States and the allies’ additional training involving Japan last week, the launch is the sixth round of missile tests by North Korea in the past 10 days. Such drills are seen as a practice for an invasion by North Korea.

PM’s office of Japan tweeted,

Instructions by the Prime Minister in Response to the Missile Launch by North Korea

The launch of a ballistic missile in a manner that passes through the airspace over Japan is an act that can potentially seriously impact the lives and property of the Japanese people.


Social media responces

Motoko Rich tweeted,

North Korea has launched 23 missiles this year but this morning one flew over Japan, triggering warnings in Hokkaido and Aomori for residents to seek shelter. MoD says it has landed in the Pacific Ocean. First-time such warnings were issued.

Dr. Jeffrey Lewis tweeted,

Based on the range, apogee, and flight time, the North Korean missile was a Hwasong-12 IRBM.
This is the 8th test of the Hwasong-12 and the 3rd time it has overflown Japan. The last test was on January 30, 2022.



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