The Geopolitical Significance of the Flight Path

The potential drop zone of whatever projectile is launched by the North next month is being assiduously pored over by various air and maritime officials. The north explained that it will be launched at an angle 90.5 degrees. Its reasoning may be as follows:


“If the angle is adjusted to 86 degrees as it was with Kwangmyongsong-1 [Taepodong 1 fired in 1998] , it is likely that the rocket’s second stage will fall into the Pacific Ocean off of Hawaii.” This indicates that Pyongyang has decided to avoid inciting the United States, choosing instead to risk criticism from Japan.


The annotations on the map below indicate why Japan believes itself to be unavoidably threatened by the rocket’s flight path.




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