In reaction to the launch, officials with the Japanese government requested an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council, which met on Sunday, April 5, 2009.
Although a failure in any launch book, the North Koreans did announce that it flew farther than its two previous attempts, one in 1998 and the other in 2006.
The United States reported the ballistic missile was called Taepodong-2 (TD-2, also referred to as Taep’o-Dong-2), and that it flew at least 3,200 kilometers (2,000 miles), which was about double the distance that the 1998 missile flew. The missile reportedly has a maximum range of 4,500 kilometers (2,800 miles).
At the same time, officials in Japan are considering ways to set up additional capabilities to defend themselves against future launches from North Korea, assuming them to be potentially military in nature.
The Reuters article “North Korea rocket revives Japan pre-emptive strike talk” reports that the Kyodo news agency is reporting that former Japanese finance minister Shoichi Nakagawa stated, “We should hold a proper debate about attacking launch bases and about shelters in case something does happen.”
Page three concludes with a comment from U.S. president Obama.