In a defiant step towards provoking the United States and its Asian allies into a major conflict, North Korea launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile and perhaps its most successful in recent memory.From the Associated Press:
“A U.S. scientist examining the height and distance said the missile could potentially be powerful enough to reach Alaska.”
North Korea wasted no time publicizing what it deemed a historic achievement:
“In typically heated rhetoric, North Korea’s Academy of Defense Science said the test of an ICBM — the Hwasong-14 — marked the “final step” in creating a “confident and powerful nuclear state that can strike anywhere on Earth.”
“South Korean and Japanese officials say it flew for about 40 minutes and reached an altitude of 2,500 kilometers (1,500 miles), which would be longer and higher than any similar North Korean test previously reported. It also covered a distance of about 930 kilometers (580 miles).
“North Korea said the missile flew as high as 2,802 kilometers before hitting a designated target in the ocean about 933 kilometers away from the launch site in the North’s northwest. It said the missile flew for about 39 minutes and was made at the highest possible angle.”
“North Korea said the missile flew as high as 2,802 kilometers before hitting a designated target in the ocean about 933 kilometers away from the launch site in the North’s northwest. It said the missile flew for about 39 minutes and was made at the highest possible angle.”“Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commanding officer of the British Armed Forces Joint Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Regiment, said that “in capability of missile terms and delivery, it is a major step up and they seem to be making progress week-on-week.” He added, however, that “actually marrying the warhead to the missile is probably the biggest challenge, which they appear not to have progressed on.”
President Trump was unimpressed.
North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life? Hard to believe that South Korea…..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 4, 2017
….and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 4, 2017
The timing of this launch is not surprising as it occurred just after South Korean President Moon and Donald Trump held their first face-to-face talk on the ‘hermit state’ and on the eve of Independence Day. Further, the most powerful industrialized nations will convene in Hamburg, Germany for the G-20 summit this week. Surely this launch will be on their agenda.
Will be an interesting few days.
[Note: This article was written by Zachary Smith]