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Politics

Japan sees higher-flying North Korean missile as threat

TOKYO -- The medium-range missile tested by North Korea on Wednesday could strike Japan from a high-altitude trajectory, a government analysis indicates, a finding that may accelerate efforts to reinforce Japanese defenses.

The Musudan ballistic missile is believed to have a range of 2,500km to 4,000km, encompassing the U.S. territory of Guam. One of two missiles launched Wednesday reached an altitude of over 1,000km and flew 400km, suggesting it was on a lofted trajectory, or a higher but shorter path. A missile approaching from a high altitude travels faster on descent, making it tougher to intercept. Tokyo thinks the missile could hit Japan if the launch angle were adjusted.

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