North Korea has fired yet another missile, indicating that the hermit kingdom’s pause in missile provocation has now ended.
The missile was fired from Sain Ni at around 3:17 am local time and stayed in the air for around 50 minutes and traveled 620 miles before landing in water that Japan claims exclusive economic rights.
The missile that North Korea fired is believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and reportedly went as high as 2,800 miles, 10 times higher than the NASA international space station. It’s reportedly capable of striking any location in the United States.
South Korea responded to the missile launch with their own “precision missile strike drill,” where they launched a missile that traveled the same distance as North Korea’s ICBM.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe responded to the launch by calling in his national security council for a meeting.
“We strongly urge North Korea to change their policy as there will be no bright future for North Korea unless they resolve such issues as the abductions, nuclear program and missiles,” said Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary.
President Trump simply said in a press conference, “We will take care of it. It is a situation we will handle.” Defense Secretary James Mattis called North Korea’s actions as a danger to “world peace, regional peace and certainly the United States.”
Tuesday’s missile launch was the seventh time this year North Korea has conducted such tests, with the previous test occurring in September. The United States believes that North Korea could develop a missile capable of holding a nuclear warhead by 2018, and South Korea is warning that the hermit kingdom is “developing its nuclear weapons at a faster-than-expected pace.”
“We cannot rule out the possibility that North Korea could announce its completion of a clear force within one year,” said South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon.