While Kim Jong-un has continued to carry out a number of missile tests, it appears that the rest of the world is preparing for the worst. Japan has even gone as far as to carry out evacuation drills in preparation to what appears to be an imminent nuclear threat.
Just last month, three North Korean missiles landed within Japan’s territory in the exclusive economic zone as an ominous warning sent by Kim Jong-un that he is not bluffing. Due to such threats, companies selling bomb shelters and other civilian survival equipment have experienced record sales.
Unfortunately, according to Japanese authorities, civilians would have a mere 10 minutes to prepare for a ballistic missile attack. Because of this, authorities have issued instruction on how to prepare for such an attack. According to them, citizens should attempt to find a strong concrete building or to go underground if possible. If a missile were to strike, it would take around ten minutes to travel 1,000 miles or 1,600 km, or around the same distance from North, Korea to Okinawa, Japan.
Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time that North Korea has positioned itself against Japan, as two decades ago in 1998, North Korea fired a Taepodon-1 missile over Japan and into the economic zone on the Pacific Ocean side.
And while Japanese authorities may have the best of intentions at offering instruction to its citizens in case of an emergency, their instructions aren’t exactly helpful. As the Washington Post put it oh so eloquently, “You won’t get the warning in time, but if you do, then go to a strong building.”
Furthermore, according to Hirofumi Yoshimura, the mayor of Osaka, which is a city with a population of around 8.8 million, A missile may not be detected as soon as it leaves the launch pad … and that could take several minutes.” He added: “The warnings and alarms might only sound four or five minutes before a missile arrives.”
Such panic has now begun to rise along with escalating tensions between North Korea, the United States, and all United States allies. And North Korea has rapidly advanced the ballistic-missile capabilities in the past few decades as well. It is due to these combined threats that the Japanese government is attempting to express exactly how dangerous of a threat North Korea truly is.