North Korea has an intercontinental ballistic missile that some experts believe can range Alaska, putting American lives in jeopardy.
North Korea successfully tested the Hwasong-14 ICBM Tuesday. Kim Jong-un warned in his New Year’s address that North Korea was on the verge of testing an ICBM. The North proceeded to test a series of new short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.
“The series of recent strategic weapons tests show that we are not too far away from test-firing an intercontinental ballistic missile,” North Korean state media said in June, offering another warning.
The missile tested Tuesday, a variant of the Hwasong-12 IRBM tested in May, represents a milestone for North Korea’s weapons development program, which North Korean weapons scientists have been advancing at an accelerated rate under the leadership of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
In response, the U.S. and South Korea conducted a joint missile launch.
The joint precision missile launch was a strong show of force demonstrating allied power in the face of North Korean aggression. American and South Korean military personnel launched multiple missiles into the sea to demonstrate the allied ability to “engage the full array of time critical targets under all weather conditions.” As joint drills have failed to deter North Korea’s provocative actions in the past, it is unclear what effect the latest exercises will have on Pyongyang’s alarming behavior.
The Department of State has declared the North’s ICBM an “escalation of the threat,” calling for global action against the reclusive North Korean regime.
North Korea has tested nuclear weapons, claiming the ability to mount a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile. Now, the regime has a long-range missile that can potentially threaten the U.S. It is only a matter of time before the North develops a fully-functional nuclear-armed ICBM.
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