On September 15, North Korea fired what is believed to be an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido for the second time in a month. Launched from Sunan just north of Pyongyang, the missile flew for 19 minutes, traveling 3,700 km, reaching an altitude of 770 km, and landing 2,200 km off the east coast of Japan in the Pacific Ocean. The missile is suspected to be North Korea’s Hwasong-12 IRBM, but this has yet to be confirmed.
Six minutes after the missile’s launch, the South Korean military launched two Hyunmoo-2 short-range ballistic missiles. According to an official from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, one of the missiles precisely hit a simulated target 250 km away in the East Sea, while the other failed shortly after launch. The range of the launches were intended to simulate the distance to strike the launch site of the North Korean missile.