The North Korean military successfully launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Tuesday, marking a major advance in the North’s missile program. The missile, confirmed to be an ICBM by a U.S. Defense Department spokeswoman, hit an altitude of about 2,800 km before landing in the sea 930 km away (Yonhap 1; Reuters). Some experts believe the missile has the capability to reach Alaska and parts of the mainland United States (Reuters). The successful test launch followed U.S. President Donald Trump’s earlier declaration on Twitter that such a test “won’t happen!” (AP).
The test prompted U.S., Japanese and South Korean officials to request an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council Wednesday, currently chaired by China. Diplomats have urged the Chinese government, Pyongyang’s main trading partner and only big ally, to press the North Korean government to end its nuclear program (Reuters). Following the launch, the South Korean and U.S. militaries staged a combined ballistic missile exercise as a warning to the North Korean government (Yonhap 2). The recent test could draw a new round of international sanctions, but North Korea is already one of the most sanctioned countries on Earth (AP).
Tags: China, north korea, United States, East Asia, South Korea, Balikowski, ICBM, missiles