News broke this morning that North Korea had successfully launched a missile over Japanese territory that eventually broke into three pieces and landed in Japanese waters.
Amid growing concern over the actions of the Kim Jong-un led nation, Roo and Ditts spoke to terrorism expert Professor Greg Barton from Deakin University to try and shed some light on the situation.
“it’s a very provocative action,” Prof. Barton suggested.
“Firing so close to the Japanese main island of Hokkaido.
“It’s flown all across the sea of Japan - usually these missiles are launched to the east of the Korean peninsula and fall short of Japan.
“The Japanese have described the actions as ‘unprecedented’ and of course provocative, but it was also very audacious because if there was any technical issue…it could easily have broken up over the Japanese mainland.”
This morning’s missile is the latest in a number of ballistic tests from North Korea, following on from the three short range rockets they launched on Saturday.
However this morning’s missile is the first time in memory they have provocatively fired over Japanese occupied land.
When asked as to what might be the motivation behind Kim Jong-un's continuing missile launches, Professor Barton was at a loss.
“We don’t know,” Prof. Barton cautioned.
"He understands that a war would destroy North Korea, destroy his regime, and cause immense suffering with tens of thousands of lives lost, maybe more.
“No wants that.
“This morning’s action was certainly a provocation of Japan.”
When posed as to why no military action has been taken against Kim Jong-un, Professor Barton suggested that it wasn’t as simple as sending a missile back in response.
“There’s no good military options,” Prof. Barton said.
“People talk about launching a strike on North Korean military facilities, but in the meantime North Korea would have time to respond with a missile barrage on Soul, which is just over the border.
“You’ve got 20 million people living within range of artillery shells, which suggests tens of thousands could be killed within minutes if North Korea went with that option.”