North Korea’s recent missile launch has been described by North Korean media as the “first step” to a larger Pacific operation. Not only was the launch itself a massive cause for concern, North Korea remains smug in its apparent political dreams of domination of its neighbors. No longer is Pyongyang messing around with simple, often broken missile tests; now they have begun to flaunt their capabilities for destruction.

The launch

On August 29th, 2017, at about 6 AM local time, North Korea launched a ballistic missile that would end up flying directly over the middle of Japan.

The unprecedented launch has begun to put some truth into the bold claims of the capabilities of North Korean missile technology.

This launch came on of the heels of a North Korean threat on the American held island of Guam, about 1600 miles south of Japan. The seemingly empty claim was made earlier this month. Now, it looks like this threat, unfortunately, has some teeth.

North Korea’s Decree

While the UN has swiftly condemned the launch, North Korea is proud of its apparent achievement. The BBC cited KCNA, as quoting leader Kim Jong-un, who "said that, "like a real war", the latest drill was the first step of the military operation of the KPA [Korean People's Army] in the Pacific and a meaningful prelude to containing Guam.'"

North Korean news claimed that their leader, Kim Jong-un, witnessed the launch himself.

As with most North Korean reports, its leader is portrayed as the main organizer of its actions. the confident leader allegedly has more launches planned for the same region in the near future. Needless to say, this launch certainly is not the end of the greater issue.

The coming storm

The launch came at a time where tensions in the Pacific are at the highest that they have been in recent memory.

Given President Trump’s strong anti-Pyongyang stance, the launch may be the signal for a much larger conflict to come as Donald Trump explicitly said that there would be “fire and fury” if threats continued. This time, rather than just words, lives may truly be at stake. Until these incrementally more aggressive launches cease, tensions will continue to rise towards their boiling point.

If action is not taken soon, this storm may truly be a tremendously damaging one for North Korea, its neighbors, and the United States alike. Violent conflict is creeping closer and the fear of North Korean aggression is becoming more and more real. One can only hope that senseless violence will not be the answer.