According to a recent report from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), which is a mouthpiece for the North Korean government, the state of North Korea is close to having a functional ICBM that would be capable of delivering an atomic payload to the continental United States.

There have been no demonstrations of such technology from the small nation, but since the time Kim Jong-un took power, the North Korean missile program has seen improvements in both range and reliability.

The North Korean Taepodong-2 was designed to lift satellites into orbit, so in theory, it would be able to reach the US homeland.

Most experts believe this to be a poor choice for use with an atomic weapon, and the continued development of ICBM technology in North Korea would seem to support that view.

Isolating influence

The continued development of offensive missile technology in North Korea is being met with fierce opposition from the rest of the world, and even China has urged the despotic Un to relent in his efforts.

President Trump has vowed that North Korea will never be allowed to field a nuclear capable ICBM, but there has been little action to enforce this statement. In the last few months the pace of North Korean missile tests has quickened, and in recent weeks the nation fired multiple missiles into the surrounding waters.

The goal of these tests isn't well known, but many propose they were meant to demonstrate North Korea's ability to defend itself from a hostile naval action.

Japan reacts

One of the most visible effects of North Korean militarism are the increasing preparations being taken by Japan. In the wake of the most recent flurry of missiles dropping, the calls for action by Japanese Prime Minister Abe have become louder.

In recent months Japanese drills to prepare its towns and cities for a possible sneak attack from a hostile atomic strike have become more frequent, though there has been no direct threat made by Kim Jong-un against Japan.

The reason for Japan's readiness isn't clear at this moment, nor is the reason for their belief that North Korea would intentionally launch atomic weapons at them without cause.

United States tests

In addition to having a large naval force in the region of the Korean peninsula, the US also tested an anti-ICBM missile system recently. The test was deemed a success, but it is unknown how the system would work in actual combat.

With all the preparations being taken, and the aggressive rhetoric coming from North Korea, it would seem as though Pyongyang is preparing for something. What that is we can't know, but it will probably make a bit of noise if and when it happens.