North Korea on Tuesday claimed to have fired its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), according to reports.
In a video, North Korea’s Academy of Defense joyfully announced it had “successfully” test-fired the Hwasgon-14 ICBM. Reports like this are not verified, and it is difficult to verify them. North Korea often employs such dramatized rhetoric.
However, if it is true that North Korea test-fired an ICBM, this could put the world – and the United States – on notice to address a missile test President Donald Trump has said “won’t happen.”
North Korea reportedly fired a ballistic missile into waters east of the Korean Peninsula, according to South Korea, Fox News reported Monday night.
The Yonhap News Agency reported that the missile launched near the border North Korea shares with China, Fox reported.
“North Korea fired an unidentified ballistic missile into the East Sea from the vicinity of Banghyon, North Pyongan Province, at around 9:40 a.m. [local time],” the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement, Fox reported.
The missile might have landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone, about 200 nautical miles from its coast, according to Takahiro Hirano, Public Affairs Officer from Japan’s Ministry of Defense, who spoke to CNN.
This test missile is one of at least a dozen missiles now that North Korea has test-launched this year – the ballistic missile launched Monday marks the 17th missile North Korea has tested so far.
Before Monday, North Korea had most recently launched four surface-to-ship missiles in early June. That launch came less than a week after the United Nations Security Council passed a new resolution that imposed new sanctions on North Korea.
Prior, North Korea tested a short-range ballistic missile in late May that was controlled by a precision guidance system, and is similar to a Scud missile, or long-range surface-to-surface guided missile. North Korea reportedly promised a “bigger gift” to the U.S. following that launch.
The most recent reported test on Monday night comes during a time when tensions are running high in the United States regarding what to do about the threat of North Korea’s missile program that is allegedly gearing up to attack the U.S.
President Donald Trump recently spoke to leaders of both Japan and China, respectively. Both countries would play roles in reigning in Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile program.