North Korea conducted a successful test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, which reached the Sea of Japan in 39 minutes. The launch occurred on Tuesday, July 4, 2017, testing a weapon that could one day threaten the United States.
North Korea’s nuclear weapons program continuously becomes more threatening and advanced. Moreover, their regime continues to grow bolder in their threats and responses, especially to truculent language from Donald Trump and his administration.
On Tuesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated that the U.S. “will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea” and “any country that hosts North Korean guest workers, provides any economic or military benefits, or fails to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions is aiding and abetting a dangerous regime.”
The day after North Korea’s ballistic missile test, the U.S. and South Korea conducted a ballistic missile drill. The joint exercise in the Sea of Japan was intended to demonstrate their alliance and commitment against North Korea’s military ambitions.
The intercontinental ballistic missile tested was announced by North Korea to be a “a full-fledged nuclear power… capable of hitting any part of the world.” Japan’s Defense Ministry said the intermediate-range ballistic missile “greatly exceeded” the altitude of 1,560 miles (2,500 km). The missile flew 580 miles (930 km) before landing in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone, according to the South Korean military and Japanese government.
Tokyo strongly protested that the test launch should have been a clear violation of UN resolutions.
North Korea’s latest successful intercontinental missile test is worrisome to the U.S. and their allies for a number of reasons:
- North and South Korea are technically still at war because the Korean war ended in a armistice and not a peace treaty. This left both sides susceptible to military attacks.
- Attempts to negotiate with Pyongyang over the years about their continuous testing and funding of their nuclear weapons program have failed.
It has also been made abundantly clear that the nuclear missile launches will not slow down, even though requests have been made from other countries. Kim Jong Un took to the airways on Wednesday to declare, “We will not take a single step back in our choice to strengthen nuclear force.” North Korean leaders are convinced that when it can credibly threaten to obliterate an American city, Washington will no longer seek to overthrow them.
To North Korea, the successful launch of the intercontinental nuclear missile demonstrated the “unwithering power of our state.”
Written by Brielle R. Buford
Edited by C.Milne and J.Smith
DAILY Intelligencer: Why It’s So Hard To ‘Deter’ North Korea
LOS ANGELES TIMES: When this broadcaster makes a rare appearance, North Korea knows its serious
The Atlantic: North Korea Crisis: U.S. and South Korea Respond
CNN: What will it take to stop North Korea?
REUTERS: North Korea missile ‘greatly exceeds’ altitude of 2,500 km: Japan Defense Ministry
Featured and Top image Courtesy of Stefan Krasowski’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License