In January, Donald Trump said “it won’t happen,” but now it’s happened:
It happened. https://t.co/KKgf9d8G6X
— Jeffrey Lewis (@ArmsControlWonk) July 4, 2017
Quartz reports: For years, North Korea has been doggedly working toward fielding an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of hitting the US. Today (July 4), it says it achieved that goal.
North Korea said in a television broadcast that it fired an ICBM called the Hwasong-14 late morning local time from its western region. The missile traveled some 930 km (580 miles) at a maximum altitude of 2,802 km for about 40 minutes, before landing in the Sea of Japan. David Wright, co-director of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said that if the missile had been sent on a standard trajectory, it would likely have been able to hit any target in Alaska. But with a maximum range of about 6,700 km (4,163 miles), it would not be able to hit the US mainland or the bigger islands of Hawaii.
News of North Korea’s ICBM success could kick off a serious escalation between the nation and its neighbors plus the US, which have been pressuring Pyongyang over its weapons programs.
This marks North Korea’s 13th missile test in 2017, and its fourth since president Moon Jae-in took power in South Korea in May, according to Shea Cotton, a research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in California. [Continue reading…]
Last month, Jeffrey Lewis wrote: North Korea’s test of an ICBM will complete the development of a nuclear arsenal with a defined strategic role. It is the final step in building an arsenal that can deter and, to use another term of art, repel an American invasion. If deterrence were to fail, and an invasion were underway, North Korea already plans the widespread use of nuclear weapons against U.S. forces in South Korea and Japan. [Continue reading…]
The Washington Post reports: As news of the test broke, but before North Korea claimed it was an ICBM, Trump took to Twitter, calling out North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and appearing to once again urge China to do more to pressure him. “North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?” Trump wrote.
“Hard to believe that South Korea and Japan will put up with this much longer,” he continued. “Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all.”
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appeared to share Trump’s frustration, if not his tone. In remarks to the press, he vowed to work closely with the United States and South Korea, but called on China and Russia to do more.
“I’d like to strongly urge international society’s cooperation on the North Korea issue and urge China’s chairman, Xi Jinping, and Russia’s President Putin to take more constructive measures.”
In a daily press conference, Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, condemned the test but countered that Beijing had “spared no effort” in its fight. [Continue reading…]