TOKYO – An analysis by Japan and the U.S. has concluded that six of the seven missiles tested by North Korea last month fell within their targets, indicating the tests were successful, a major Japanese newspaper reported Sunday.
Only a newly developed long-range missile, Taepodong-2, is believed to have failed, the Yomiuri newspaper said, quoting unidentified Japanese officials.
Based on initial data from U.S. military early-warning satellites, Japan's Defense Agency had doubted the targeting accuracy of the missiles, but later discovered that the six medium-range missiles actually fell inside the sea zone North Korea had marked beforehand, the newspaper said.
North Korea's July 5 missile tests drew strong international condemnation, prompting the U.N. Security Council to adopt a statement denouncing the launches and banning countries from missile-related dealings with the North.
Although the Taepodong-2, believed to be capable of reaching parts of the United States, crashed shortly after being launched, the targeting accuracy of the other missiles was relatively high, the newspaper quoted the officials as saying.
A U.S. and Japanese analysis based on data collected by radar on Aegis-equipped warships and other intelligence sources found that the six missiles traveled 300-400 kilometers (185-250 miles) northeast from the Kitaeryong missile base on North Korea's southeastern coast and landed inside a designated zone within a radius of about 50 kilometers (30 miles), the Yomiuri said.
North Korea set a restricted area — a triangle about 160 kilometers (100 miles) on each side — in the Sea of Japan off the North Korean coast between July 4 and 11.
The Defense Agency's planned release in early August of its analysis of the missile tests is expected to be delayed because of a need for further discussions with the United States, the Yomiuri said.