It had been more than three weeks since North Korea last molested global security by illegally launching a missile skyward, and Kim Jong Un must have felt that they were long overdue.
The diminutive dictator of the DPRK has long been testing the patience of the United States and their allies with illicit weapons testing that defies international decorum and strategic sanctions. The tiny, reclusive nation’s stated goal is to annihilate the United States through the use of thermonuclear warfare; something that was long considered to be decades away from possibility.
Now, however, after a successful 4th of July launch of a legitimate ICBM symbolically timed to insult Americans, Kim’s destructive dreams seem closer to reality than ever before. The latest estimates put Kim’s ability to strike the U.S. mainland within reach sometime between right now and about two years’ time. What is unknown at this moment is whether or not North Korea has the means to attach a warhead to their latest projectile.
Now, Kim Jong Un and his cronies have ratcheted up tension in the region once again, launching a rocket just before 11am EDT on Friday that flew for approximately 45 minutes. To further complicate matters, Japan is claiming that the device splashed down in their exclusive economic zone; a huge no-no for Kim and the boys.
“The rogue state reportedly made the test launch from its northern Jangang province.
“The missile may have landed in the sea off North Korea’s east coast – possibly in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, South Korea and Japan said.
“The launch took place at 11.41pm (14.41 GMT), an South Korean government official said.
“The US Defense Department also confirmed the launch of a ballistic missile, saying it was making further assessments.
“South Korean President Moon Jae-in called a National Security Council meeting for 1am Saturday.
“Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also said a National Security Council meeting would be convened.
“The cabinet is expected to do a media briefing shortly.
“If confirmed, the latest test would be the 14th missile test conducted by North Korea in 2017.”
Next to ponder will be the U.S. reaction to such a brazen test, with American President Donald Trump and members of his administration previously taking a hard line with the rogue regime.
After the July 4th launch, Trump cabinet members and military officials were swift in condemning the launch, insisting that this threat to the United States would not be allowed to stand. In the ensuing weeks, a calm seemed to drape relations between the two nations as North Korea’s military testing went cold. Now, however, Trump will be faced with yet another challenge from the out-of-control Kim.
Beyond these missile tests, North Korea has also riled up the American populace via the death of Otto Warmbier, and American citizen who was sentenced to 15 years in a labor camp for removing a poster from a hotel wall. Within days of arriving in the camp, whose conditions would make Heinrich Himmler weep, Warmbier fell comatose. He remained in North Korea for over a year in that state before finally being returned to his family in the United States, brain dead, and within days of passing away.