Pyongyang (GPA) – The Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK) claims to have successfully tested their first Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).
The DPRK announced the missile launch on Tuesday July 4th – aka the day the US celebrates it’s independence – and promised more “big and small ‘gift packages’ to the Yankees.” The missile that was launched is reported to be the first of new class in the DPRK’s arsenal.
The DPRK’s state news agency KCNA has hailed the test as another major step in their development of technology capable of delivering conventional or nuclear warheads across the Pacific Ocean. The new warhead was reported as being the latest advancement in North Korean long range missile technologies such as “stage separation, the atmospheric re-entry of the warhead and the late-stage control of the warhead.”
The KN-17 two stage missile will officially be a new class in the official records of North Korea’s arsenal by the US government.
The ICBM was fired towards the Sea of Japan with a reported flight time of 37 minutes. Despite what a significant number of western media outlets have claimed, US officials have declared the new missile is “not a threat” to the continent.
One nation that is sounding the alarm, is of course, Japan.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued a public statement that the latest missile test “clearly shows that the threat has grown.” South Korea is also predictably outraged and is already joining with Japan and the US in calling for a meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
The US and South Korea also used military assets near the peninsula as a means of issuing a more immediate response. This pissing contest culminated in US and South Korean forces firing missiles into international waters – otherwise known as the same places the DPRK conducts their missile tests.
This move isn’t just a signal to the DPRK from their enemies but also a snub by the US to China and Russia. The two eastern global powers are currently seeking diplomacy between the US and the DPRK asking the former to stop conducting drills with South Korea and Japan, and the latter to suspend further weapons tests.
Many in the world are happy the US government is showing their usual lack of will to participate in reasonable dialogue since this is just another move that enables and increases further cooperation between China and Russia. The continued resolve by the two great allies also comes right as meetings were taking place between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The US action puts the country more firmly in their corner with South Korea and Japan who remain firmly committed to a strategy that has no viable solutions in sight. Trump’s strategy has no end game that wouldn’t cause mass casualties, while Beijing and Moscow are the only ones seeking a strategy that could make concrete steps towards peace. If the US wishes to lower the tension with Pyongyang they will need to figure out a way to cooperate with not just the DPRK, but Russia and China as well.