It’s being reported this morning that North Korea has successfully tested a ballistic missile over the weekend that can reach almost 1,000 miles away:
AP – North Korea said Monday that it successfully tested newly developed long-range cruise missiles over the weekend, the first known testing activity in months, underscoring how the country continues to expand its military capabilities amid a stalemate in nuclear negotiations with the United States.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency reported that the missiles showed they can hit targets 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) away on Saturday and Sunday. State media published photos of a projectile being fired from a launcher truck and what looked like a missile traveling in the air.
The North hailed its new missiles as a “strategic weapon of great significance” — wording that implies they were developed with the intent to arm them with nuclear warheads.
North Korea ended a yearlong pause in ballistic tests in March by firing two short-range missiles into the sea, continuing a tradition of testing new U.S. administrations to measure Washington’s response. Kim’s government has so far rejected the Biden administration’s overtures for dialogue, demanding that Washington abandon its “hostile” policies first — a reference to the U.S. maintaining sanctions and a military alliance with South Korea.
The United States keeps about 28,000 troops in South Korea to help deter potential aggression from North Korea, a legacy of the Korean War.
There hadn’t been any known test launches for months since March, as Kim focused his efforts on fending off the coronavirus and salvaging an economy damaged by sanctions, bad flooding in recent summers, and border closures amid the coronavirus pandemic. Experts have warned that the economic situation is dire, although monitoring groups have yet to detect signs of mass starvation or major instability.
A distance of 930 miles means the missile could easily reach South Korea and most of Japan, but it would not threaten the US since it’s over 3k miles away. That said, both South Korea and Japan are our allies and I suspect they probably aren’t very happy about this missile launch, especially with it falling on Joe Biden’s watch after the terrible mess he made out of Afghanistan.
North Korea did this same kind of testing back in 2017 and it looks like they are not only testing their nuclear capability again, but also the weak resolve of our Coward-in-Chief. This launch is probably just the beginning of more significant launches to come.