Just weeks after President Trump announced that diplomatic pressure on North Korea is failing, the rogue nation confirmed his assessment.
For months, President Trump has been imploring the Chinese government to smother the DPRK with crippling sanctions aimed at stymying the hermit kingdom’s progress in the nuclear weapons realm. China has somewhat complied with the Commander in Chief’s wishes, but even those drastic actions have had little effect on the atomic timeline of Kim Jong Un.
Furthermore, Kim’s symbolically-timed July 4th launch of North Korea’s first intercontinental ballistic missile was a game changer, with the possible range of a North Korean strike improving from “maybe Japan” to “maybe Alaska”. Now, just over three weeks later, Kim Jong Un has tested yet another ICBM, this time splashing the weapon down in Japan’s exclusive economic zone; a massive escalation in recklessness for the North Korean “supreme” leader.
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This latest missile flew for nearly an hour, giving experts a chance to estimate the projectile’s possible range. Their findings were shocking to say the least.
“But Friday’s missile was a more advanced ICBM than the one fired earlier this month, flying 620 miles and reaching a maximum altitude of 2,300 miles—far more than the July 4 missile’s 1,740 miles, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. North Korea, in a separate media report hours later, released numbers in line with those estimates.
“The significantly higher altitude of Friday’s missile suggests that it could have flown much farther than the last one.
“The new missile would be able to fly more than 6,400 miles if fired at a standard trajectory, David Wright, a physicist and co-director of the Global Security Program at the Union Concerned Scientists, wrote in an analysis on Friday. That would put Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago within range.
“In a report published Saturday morning by the official state mouthpiece, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the ICBM test showed Pyongyang could make a ‘surprise launch of ICBM in any region and place any time, and clearly proved that the whole U.S. mainland is in the firing range of the DPRK missiles.’ He used the acronym for North Korea’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”
This latest test has certainly altered the timeline for action by Washington D.C.; a fact that remains tempered by Kim Jong Un’s unfathomable lunacy.
Options for dealing with Kim and his cronies are extremely limited due to the unpredictability of the beleaguered regime. Should the United States act deliberately, showing their hand, Kim will likely strike South Korea or Japan, U.S. allies in retaliation for what he would certainly deem “acts of war”.
Prospects for a covert, Seal Team Six-style mission are bleak as well. Not only is North Korea an extremely difficult nation to travel about undetected, but Kim’s madness likely means that a quick-strike protocol is in place in the event of a sudden assassination, which would also leave our nearby allies in danger.
Whatever the President and his military counsel decide to do, they’ll need to do it quickly, as Kim Jong Un shows no signs of stopping until he has successfully attacked the United States.