This is a blog for kids, so let me start off by saying that Japan is near South Korea and North Korea. The only thing that separates from the Koreas from Japan is a sea. (It’s called The Sea of Japan in Japan. I don’t know what the Koreans call it.)
North Korea is ruled by Kim Jong-un. He is an inexperienced and young dictator who took over the position from his father, also a dictator. (And who had taken the position from HIS father, also a dictator.)
For years now, North Korea has been setting off missiles that go down into the sea. Every time this happens, it worries Japan. The North Korea government hates Japan, but it ESPECIALLY hates the United States.
So having explained that, let me tell you what happened this morning.
My son always wakes at six a.m. We do English together on the sofa and my husband sits at the table and reads the newspaper. (The kind that has pages made of paper! Not the internet kind.) Meanwhile the TV is always on to the morning news, but we don’t pay much attention to it.
So shortly after six, the TV screen went black with white lettering. It was a warning. At first, I wasn’t too concerned. I assumed it was an earthquake warning. We get those fairly frequently, often enough that they don’t worry me a whole lot.
But my husband said that it was a missile warning. North Korea had launched a missile. “People in Tohoku and Hokkaido take cover! Immediately!” And it listed the prefectures that were in danger. (Basically all of northern Japan.)
I said, “This is a drill, right?”
Husband said, “No, it’s real.”
I got very nervous. Truth be told, the TV made it sound like North Korea had aimed it missile at Japan and it would hit somewhere in Japan. Even if it didn’t hit my home, I don’t want to see ANY of Japan attacked!
Well, several minutes later, it turned out that it passed over Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean. What were the North Koreans aiming at? I have no idea. Maybe it was just a stupid test of theirs and they never planned to hit a target other than the ocean.
Lots of people in Japan were woken up by the phone apps alerting them of the danger, by the way. Meanwhile, at the time, American news showed nothing about the story, and still isn’t showing much. (I do realize there is huge hurrican destruction, and that is being focused on.)
By the way, this is not the first time that North Korean missiles have soared over Japan. It happened in 1998 and 2009. I wasn’t worried then because the TV warning didn’t scare the jiminy crickets out of me!
I have no idea what the world’s response will be….
This is the path of the North Korean missile. It was launched at 5:58 a.m. It flew over the sea at a high altitude. It passed over Hokkaido in Japan. It landed in the ocean (the red spot) at 6:12 a.m.