North Korea fired a ballistic missile today which apparently exploded in mid-flight over the Sea of Japan. This latest launch comes amid a tense atmosphere in which North Korea has created videos showing the destruction of the U.S. Capitol. From Fox News:
The missile has been assessed to be a KN-17, a former Scud missile that officials believe is being tested to one day target ships.
The missile flew roughly 25 miles and was in the air for about 15 minutes, officials tell Fox News. The KN-17 was launched from Pukchang…
The KN-17 is a single-stage, liquid-fueled missile — not the three-stage, solid-fuel missile that North Korea successfully tested back in February, which caused more concern among Pentagon officials.
Just yesterday, North Korea released another propaganda video which ends with a strike on the U.S. Capitol.
North Korea releases videos like this relatively routinely but this one comes as the Trump administration has been ramping up talk about North Korea as a threat. Earlier this week the U.S. surprised South Koreans by setting up a THAAD anti-missile system. Earlier this month the administration announced the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson would not be stopping in Australia but would instead return to the waters near North Korea.
Meanwhile, Fox News reports Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made his case to the United Nations that North Korea was a problem that must be dealt with:
“With each successive detonation and missile test, North Korea pushes northeast Asia and the world closer to instability and broader conflict,” Tillerson said. “The threat of a North Korean attack on Seoul or Tokyo is real.”
Tillerson added that it was “only a matter of time” before Pyongyang takes aim at the United States and said the international community must take concrete steps now in order to prevent North Korea from making good on threats.
“Business as usual is not an option,” Tillerson told 15 top diplomats at the U.N. meeting.
So the U.S. is pushing hard for action against North Korea, but Reuters reports China is pushing back. China’s foreign minister said at the UN meeting, “The key to solving the nuclear issue on the peninsula does not lie in the hands of the Chinese side.” China is calling for negotiations over the North Korean nuclear program. Here is Tillerson’s full statement to the UN: