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North Korea’s provocative launch of an apparent midrange missile over Hokkaido on Tuesday is likely to give fuel to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to bolster the nation’s abilities to defend itself, while also throwing cold water on a return to dialogue, experts say.

The missile, which stoked concern in Tokyo after landing in the Pacific Ocean about 1,200 kilometers east of the northernmost prefecture, comes amid North Korea’s ramped-up pace of missile and weapons tests, including two nuclear detonations last year.

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