AFP - Friday, June 19
Japan's defence ministry believes that North Korea might now be planning to launch a two-stage or three-stage Taepodong-2 missile towards either Japan's Okinawa island, Guam or Hawaii, according to the report.
But the ministry said launches toward Okinawa or Guam were "extremely unlikely" because the first-stage booster could drop into waters off China, agitating Beijing, or hit western Japanese territory, the report said.
If the missile were fired in the direction of Hawaii, the booster could drop in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) well before the missile's remaining part flies over northern Japan and towards North America.
This would put "enormous military pressure on the United States," the Yomiuri said, citing the ministry report.
The ministry concluded that it was "most likely" that North Korea's next ballistic missile test would be directed toward Hawaii, the daily said.
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