Did North Korean missile test trigger Trump’s ‘red line’?

VOA reports: In January, Donald Trump drew what appeared to be a “red line” for North Korea: testing a ballistic missile that could reach parts of the United States with a nuclear warhead.

“It won’t happen!” insisted then President-elect Trump in a statement he posted on Twitter.

Except early Tuesday, it did happen, according to North Korean state television, which reported Kim Jong Un “personally observed” the test of the Hwaseong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile.

The North’s claims were bolstered by the U.S. military, which tracked the missile for 37 minutes, and independent analysts, who estimated its range at 6,500 kilometers (4,000 miles) — far enough to reach Alaska, and an apparent violation of Trump’s “red line” warning.

In international geopolitics, a “red line” signifies an unequivocal threat; it could also be described as “a line in the sand.” Breaking the limit set by the “red line” would incur the full fury of the state that issued the threat.

The successful test of an ICBM (generally defined as a rocket with a range of more than 5,500 kilometers, or 3,400 miles) would represent a major challenge for Trump, who has warned the U.S. is willing to act alone to stop the North Korean nuclear threat. [Continue reading…]

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