(Kyodo) _ The Taepodong-2 long-range missile recently test-fired by North Korea was pointed at waters near Hawaii, the Sankei Shimbun reported Friday in its online edition.
Citing government sources in Japan and the United States, the report said Japan’s Defense Agency and the U.S. military reached the conclusion after analyzing the missile’s path from data collected by Aegis-equipped destroyers and RC-135S electronic reconnaissance aircraft.
The missile was test-fired from its launching site in Musudanri in northeast North Korea early Wednesday local time before landing into the Sea of Japan about several hundred kilometers away.
The authorities decided that the missile was pointed at Hawaii from the angle of its nose cone immediately after the launch and the altitude it has reached, the report said.
The distance between North Korea and Hawaii is about 7,000 kikometers. While Taepodong-2 was widely believed to have the firing range of 3,500-6,000 km, its actual range can be longer, the report said.
It is not clear why North Korea targeted areas near Hawaii, but the sources believe North either wanted to show that the missile’s firing range includes the United States, or because Hawaii is home to the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, or because the missile could mistakenly hit a land area if fired toward Alaska, the report said.