If there is one thing that Kim Jong Un does well, it’s provoke the the United States in increasingly effective and symbolic ways.
For months the “supreme” leader of North Korea has been testing short and medium range missiles in an attempt to develop a weapon capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to the U.S. mainland. A great many of these tests have ended in failure, as the missile themselves have exploded mere moments after liftoff, with only a handful of these tests traveling more than a few kilometers. All that changed on July 3rd, however, when North Korea launched what is presumed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching “anywhere in the world”, according to the rogue nation’s state run news agency.
Independently verifiable reports from American allies confirm that the test reached frightening new heights.
“Tuesday morning’s missile test reached a height of 2,802 kilometers (1,741 miles), according to state broadcaster Korea Central Television, which would be the highest altitude a North Korean missile had ever reached.“The country claimed it was an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, which would put the United States on notice that Pyongyang could potentially hit the US
“Bruce Bennett, senior international/defense researcher at RAND Corp., said North Korea had aimed high to limit the distance traveled and avoid a major international incident.“‘You can’t hardly fire a missile from North Korea that’s got a thousand-kilometer range without it going into somebody’s exclusive economic zone. The bottom line is, they’ve flown it very high so that they can test the range of the missile,’ Bennett said.“‘If they were to shoot it on a normal trajectory, it’s probably going to go out 6,000 or so kilometers. By definition, anything over 5,500 kilometers is an ICBM.'”