Podcasts: North Korea’s Missile Over Japan

People on Japan's Hokkaido watch TV coverage of the North Korean missile flight over the island (Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty)

I joined BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Coventry on Tuesday to talk about North Korea’s latest show of strength, reacting especially to the warnings of Donald Trump — as the US was preoccupied with Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Pyongyang fired its first ballistic missile over northern Japan.

Travelling about 1,700 miles, the missile fell in the ocean, but it caused a scare with residents of Hokkaido summoned to shelters. And it was a pointed contrast to North Korea’s step back from a threat v. the US airbase on the Pacific island of Guam, prompting Trump to declare that his Twitter blasts had succeeded.

Trump responded briefly that “all options are on the table” for the US — a line that is, as I explain, more bluster than reality.

On Wednesday morning, the North Korean regime returned to its declaration that a missile show near Guam is next.

Listen to Discussion on BBC Radio Wales

Listen to Discussion on BBC Radio Coventry

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.


  1. Supremely wise leader Marshal KimJong-Un prepares another wholesome plutonium meal for Yanki imperialist fools and their mangy Jap running-dogs to savour.

  2. Closely following Der Tяump☭nFührer’s latest rage-Tweet that ‘talking is not the answer’ as regards North Korea, China agrees by declaring that it “will never allow war or chaos on its doorstep” … i.e. delivering an official unsubtle warning to the unstable Yanki régime that if it launches any sneak aggression on brotherly DPRK it will instantly be engaged militarily in retaliation also by the People’s Liberation Army, whose H-tipped ICBM’s shall without question accurately reach their targets in not-so-Exceptionalistan should that step become necessary to reinforce the applied lesson in international law upon The Global Arrogance:

    Nuclear deterrence is of course the only language the cloth-eared NATO warcriminals understand, as demonstrated by Iraq, Libya and Syria, to mention but a few recent examples. Therefore the proud North Korean People, under the supremely wise and brave Leader Field Marshal Kim Jong-Un, will calmly continue to rapidly develop their legitimate nuclear weapons program, unperturbed by the frustrated snarling and foaming at the mouth of the rabid warmonglers of Yankistan. In about 10 years’ time, once DPRK has a few hundred atomic warheads safely deployed, including a demonstrated mastery of miniaturised thermonuclear packages, and a fully operational globe-spanning defensive nuclear triad, only then will it be time to talk, should the humbled Yanki warcriminals still feel up to the task after having been forced to choke on their own filthy, mafia-like threats.

    So, checkmate, senile but contained Yankistan … now sit back down and enjoy a nice hot cup of STFU!
    This time there shall be no “cakewalk” external aggression to distract the seething Yanki masses from the rampant social decay, systemic political corruption and incipient Civil War Mk.II in the Homeland.

    Everyone has a part to play … Rome wasn’t burnt in a day!

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