North Korea fired what is believed to be a missile into the waters of the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday morning, according to the Japanese government.
In response, Fort Greely, Alaska personnel were ordered to find shelter immediately during what was still Tuesday afternoon in Alaska.
It’s unknown what kind of projectile it was, but the Japanese Defense Ministry said it was probably a missile. Other MRAK sources said it was a hypersonic missile launched from a submarine.
The last missile Pyongyang launched was in October. In 2017, an intercontinental ballistic missile was launched in North Korea that had a range of 8,100 miles, and could have reached the U.S. mainland in less than 30 minutes. Anchorage and Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson are the closest major population centers to North Korea.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has recently said he would step up missile testing, and it’s believed he is trying to have North Korea become accepted as a nuclear power. Diplomatic relations with the United States have been strained.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, Department of State spokesman Ned Price said the U.S. is committed to achieving lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and diplomacy with the DPRK.
“To that end, we’ll continue to seek engagement with the DPRK, part of a calibrated, practical approach in order to more – to make tangible progress that increases the security of the United States, our allies, and our deployed forces. That is our ultimate objective. That was the result of the policy review that this administration conducted in the first few months of our time in office. Again – and we’ve made this point repeatedly – but we have no hostile intent towards the DPRK. We are prepared to meet without preconditions. We hope the DPRK will respond positively to our outreach, but all the while, we’re continuing to consult closely with our allies and partners, and that includes, of course, the Republic of Korea, Japan, and other allies and partners about how we might best engage the DPRK towards this end and this shared objective,” he said. That was before the missile was launched.
Fort Greely, 100 miles southeast of Fairbanks, is part of the critical national missile defense system for the country and has the capability to launch a defense missile in the event of an actual attack. Located a the fort is the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense, 49th Missile Defense Battalion, 59th Signal Battalion, Cold Regions Test Center, Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Defense Commissary Agency, Logistics Readiness Center,