The situation on the Korean peninsula is growing tenser all the time, and the alliance between the US and China seems to have fallen apart. This week marks the first test firing of an ICBM by #North Korea that could realistically strike US territory, and #President Trump appears to be furious.

The rogue nation launched their most capable missile to date, and multiple governments confirmed its flight characteristics. The Hwasong-14 appears to the be the first ICBM fielded by North Korea that poses a real threat to it neighbors, but it is unlikely to be capable of hitting the contiguous United States, or Hawaii.

It would easily hit anywhere in Japan, and also creates risks for any number of other countries in the area.

Advertisements
Advertisements

President Trump reacted immediately to the test firing with a #Twitter rampage and posed taunting questions to the world at-large.

Many uncertainties remain

North Korean state media declared the test firing a total success, and adding that the Hwasong-14 is capable of hitting any nation in the world. This is a highly unlikely statement and has been universally rejected by relevant authorities in the matter.

In addition to the uncertainties that surround the Hwasong-14's range, it is unknown whether or not North Korea can actually target the missile accurately. This test ended in the Sea of Japan, where the missile splashed down harmlessly.

Advertisements

The capability of North Korea to produce a nuclear warhead that would fit on this type of ICBM is also debated, with no solid information available. Many experts also question whether or not North Korea can produce a nuclear strike package than could survive reentry from the upper atmosphere, which at the moment is an unanswerable question.

Political nightmare

President Trump has been vocal on his desire to disarm North Korea, but it would appear that China is putting distance between itself and the outspoken US leader. In recent days a US Navy destroyer violated sea lanes that the Chinese claim sovereignty over, and this has done nothing to firm up bilateral relations.

Japan and South Korea have both expressed worry in the wake of this most recent missile test, and leaders from both countries have been in contact with President Trump directly. Japan has every reason to fear a missile like the Hwasong-14, though there has been no threat of any kind made by North Korea against Japan.

President Trump is scheduled to meet with leaders from both China and Russia at the upcoming G20 meeting in Hamburg, and it would appear that there will be one more thing to fit into an already busy agenda.