While threats of government shutdowns and jokes about Pocahontas dominated the news cycle on Tuesday, North Korea was launching another missile. The launch will no doubt escalate a situation that is already alarmingly dangerous.
Pentagon officials confirmed on Tuesday afternoon, that North Korea launched an inter-continental ballistic missile in the early morning hours. According to the Yonhap News Agency, the missile was fired from the area of Pyongsong, South Pyongan Province.
The ICBM landed in the Sea of Japan within what Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s office says is Japan’s “Exclusive Economic Zone.” The launch comes one day after Japanese officials detected radio chatter confirming another test was likely.
Responding to the test, Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters the ICBM flew “higher, frankly, than any previous shot they have taken.” Even more alarming, he added that the North is now capable of striking anywhere in the world.
President Trump responded to the launch with his usual confidence. Speaking to media at the White House, the president said, “we’ll take care of it.” “North Korea is a situation we will handle,” Trump added. South Korean officials were also quick to respond to the aggression.
Minutes after confirming the North Korea missile launch, the South conducted a “precision missile strike” test. The strike equaled the flight distance of the North’s missile and landed in the waters off the coast.
Kim Jon-Un has not conducted a missile test since September, leaving military officials puzzled over his silence. However, since the last launch new reports have come out detailing other types of warfare Kim is developing.
Nevertheless, U.S., Japanese, and South Korean officials fear that a nuclear missile is Kim’s weapon of choice. Authorities in Seoul believe the dictator will couple a miniaturized nuclear warhead with a long-range missile as soon as next year.
“They have been developing their nuclear capabilities faster than expected,” said Unification Minister, Cho Myoung-gyon. “We cannot rule out the possibility of North Korea declaring the completion of their nuclear program next year.”
September 2018, will mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.