On Tuesday, North Korea confirmed the launch of its Intercontinental Ballistic Missile and the world leaders were furious. For Kim Jong Un though, it was a welcome delight and the grin on his face moments before the successful launch told the whole story. It’s the first ICBM that North Korea successfully launched. Kim has openly stated that North Korea will not abandon its nuclear and ICBM program. The North Korean leader also gave a warning to the US saying that he will continue to launch these “gift packages.” The US and the South Korean forces were quick to show their force on Tuesday launching “deep strike” precision missiles into South Korean waters.
South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, is said to have ordered the drills in order to clearly demonstrate the response capabilities of the South Korea. Analysts feel that Tuesday’s launch signified just how far North Korea has come in developing long range intercontinental ballistic missiles. Although they still don’t have the capability to carry out a nuclear strike in the US, there is a feeling that the regime isn’t far from achieving its target. Besides, the missiles they already have can easily strike their neighbors in the south with catastrophic effects. In short, despite failures in ICBMs in recent years, North Korea still has the ability to cause serious damage.
There is a real fear and the US together with Japan and South Korea called for an emergency session of the UN Security Council on Wednesday to try and see the way forward. The US Secretary of State noted that they are considering a wide range of stronger measures to hold North Korea accountable. North Korea saw the launch as a success. The state-run media that also doubles up as a propaganda machine noted that the ICBM was capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. It doesn’t seem like the tests will stop despite more pressure coming from the West. Kim urged his scientists to keep up the tests in what he called sending “gift packages” to the “Yankees.”
The significance of the tests that came during the 4th July celebration was also something of note. It’s not a surprise though. North Korea has in the past conducted such tests around the 4th of July celebrations. Kim also said that the protracted standoff between his country and the US was already in its last phase and it was time for the Asian nation to show its mettle. The launch of the ICBM has been termed as the most successful yet for North Korea and it comes barely months after the US President, Donald Trump, made it clear that such tests would not be allowed to happen.
Scientists at the North Korea Academy of Defense who are pioneering the development of these ICBMs said that the test was in part a final step that could potentially make the country a nuclear power capable of striking any country around the world. US scientists tracking the movement of the ICBM also noted that it could potentially have the ability to hit Alaska. Despite all this, North Korea is still not capable of mounting a nuclear warhead on the missile. However, it seems the eastern nation is getting closer to that reality every day.