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NHK captures flash of light believed to be N. Korean missile

2017/07/29 15:51

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TOKYO, July 29 (Yonhap) -- Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported Saturday it has captured what appears to be a flash of light about the time when North Korea's intercontinental-range ballistic missile was coming down in the East Sea.

The North launched what it claimed to be a second and improved intercontinental ballistic missile late Friday night, which flew more than 1,000 kilometers at the maximum altitude of around 3,700 km before landing in the waters between Korea and Japan.

The Japanese broadcaster said the light looked like a meteor and was recorded at around 0:28 a.m. at Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido by several cameras of the company. It added that it has not been confirmed yet whether the light captured by the cameras was that of the missile.

However, NHK said the footage could be that of the warhead of the North Korean missile descending, citing comments by missile defense expert Michael Elleman of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Citing altitude and distance figures, it is highly likely that the flash of light was that of the North Korean missile, Elleman was quoted by NHK as saying.

Elleman further said that the flash of light withstood high pressure and temperature when re-entering the atmosphere.

Also, there is a possibility of Pyongyang's ICBM being capable of reaching targets on the U.S. West Coast, citing that it may be able to fly between 9,000 and 10,000 km.