Tabnak – Indifferent to the global concerns over its ballistic missiles program, North Korea tested a new, upgraded missile today which is claimed to be able to reach "anywhere in the world.” Russia and China, among the others, has urged Pyongyang to stop its successive missile launches.
North Korea on Tuesday claimed it had successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile; a move that international observers, including Emily Rauhala of Washington Post consider as "a potential milestone” in Pyongyang’s campaign to develop a nuclear-tipped weapon capable of hitting the mainland United States.
In a special announcement on state television, North Korea said it launched a Hwasong-14 missile that flew about 579 miles, reaching an altitude of 1,741 miles. The US military said it was in the air for 37 minutes, a duration that signals a significant improvement in North Korea’s technology, experts said.
CNN writes in its report that Pyongyang appears to have timed the launch for maximum political effect, giving the order to fire on the eve of the July 4 holiday in the US and just days after US President Donald Trump spoke with Japanese and Chinese leaders about the North Korea threat and before this week's G20 meeting.
The US was quick to take a position. "The threat is much more immediate now," US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters prior to the launch. "So it's clear we can't repeat the same failed approach of the past."
Fox News further cites McMaster as saying "so the president has directed us not to do that, and to prepare a range of options -- including a military option, which nobody wants to take, right?"
Russia and China also urged North Korea to "freeze" its missile and nuclear programs after it claimed to have successfully tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile. Both countries also called for a simultaneous suspension of US-South Korea large-scale military exercises.
Meanwhile, according to BBC, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in called on the United Nations Security Council to take steps against North Korea. Furthermore, Japan described "repeated provocations like this are absolutely unacceptable" and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his country would "unite strongly" with the US and South Korea to put pressure on Pyongyang.
However, US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to express his frustration over North Korea's latest missile test and called on the country's longtime ally China to intervene.
"North Korea has just launched another missile. Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?" he tweeted late Monday, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "Hard to believe that South Korea ... and Japan will put up with this much longer."
Trump went on to suggest that China, which shares a border with North Korea, could do something. "Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all," he wrote.
It should be noted that analysts are still looking for clues about the missile and parsing what those clues might mean, both in terms of North Korea’s capability and the international community’s response.