North Korea has once again conducted a successful weapons test, this time of a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The missile reached an altitude of 1,741 miles and flew for nearly 40 minutes before landing in the sea near Japan. This launch has considerably raised tension in the region and upped the stakes for the U.S. since this ICBM could potentially strike Alaska. Kim Jong-un seems as confident as ever and is unlikely to stop threatening global security if not stopped soon.

'Package of gifts' for the U.S.

This most recent launch marks a huge breakthrough for Kim Jong-un, as North Korea has been trying to directly threaten the U.S.

for a long time now. The North Korean leader was present at the launch site and called it a "package of gifts" for the U.S. on its Independence Day. Experts say that if the North Koreans chose to angle the missile trajectory for distance instead of height, it could travel around 4,000 miles. This would not only mean it could target Alaska but it would reach very close to the U.S. mainland. According to North Korean media, the missile was called the "final step" in creating a "confident and powerful nuclear state that can strike anywhere on earth." The North Korean military even went one step further on Wednesday by saying that the new ICBM could carry a large nuclear warhead.

U.S. response

This ICBM test launch comes just days after President Donald Trump met with the South Korean leader Moon Jae-in to discuss the matter of North Korea.

President Trump clearly stated that U.S. patience toward North Korea had run out. The U.S. and South Korean military responded with a show of force by launching short-range missiles into the waters of the east coast of the Korean Peninsula. The U.S. and Japan have been calling for increased sanctions on North Korea in order to attempt to curb the regime's nuclear ambitions.

However, China, the country with the most influence on North Korea, is not in favor of such actions. Trump has repeatedly expressed his frustration with China for not doing more to stop Kim Jong-un from developing threatening weapons. Trump reiterated his irritation with China in a tweet that read: "Trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40% in the first quarter. So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!"

What's next

The U.S has called an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss the recent missile launch by North Korea.

The meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday and it is expected that the U.S. will try to push for more sanctions on North Korea and tougher measures to ensure that the regime will cease its provocative weapons development programs. However, it is unclear if the U.S. will get its way. China and Russia reached a joint agreement on Tuesday in which they called for North Korea to cease its missile development program and for the U.S. to remove its missile shield and stop large-scale joint military exercises with South Korea.

President Trump will be meeting Russian President Putin at the G-20 summit to discuss the North Korean issue, among other things.

The question will be whether Trump will be able to convince other leaders to increase sanctions on North Korea or take a tougher approach on the whole issue. What is clear, however, is that something must be done soon.

Kim Jong-un will not stop, and sanctions have proven to be ineffective. It is in everyone's best interest that an agreement is reached in order to put a stop to North Korea's dangerous ambitions.