Upping the ante: the Hwasong-12 goes flying over Hokkaido
The September 15 flight was a watershed event
September 15, 2017, saw what might be, arguably, the most provocative flight of a North Korean ballistic missile to date.
At first glance, this was a repeat of the previous August 28 flight of an Hwasong-12 (HS-12) intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) over the Japanese island of Hokkaido, differing only in its longer range (3700 km rather than 2500 km).
Scrutinizing it in more detail, however, reveals some ominous signs that need to be fleshed out.
The differences between the latest Hwasong-12 flight and the previous one last August are technical, operational and political.
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