On July 4, the world saw North Korea launch its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) which is said to have the capacity to hit Alaska. Throughout the year, North Korea has been testing ballistic missiles to test the new Trump administration, which had threatened to start a war in the korean peninsula over those tests. Since then, it's been reported that the U.S. military was ramping up efforts with Congress against North Korea through sanctions.

Trump's aggression towards North Korea

After Syria's Assad regime targeted his own citizens with a chemical attack, Trump authorized a cruise missile strike against the air field from where the chemical attack was launched.

President Trump ordered the strike using 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles and days later, followed by the use of the "Mother of all Bombs" (MOAB) in Afghanistan as an example of U.S. military power to the North Korean regime. Soon after, the Trump administration would authorize the transfer of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to South Korea.

The U.S. has also sent armed drones to the Korean peninsula, ramped up military exercises with South Korean troops and sent a naval strike group to the region in order to intimidate the North from testing more ballistic missiles. With the world fearing that Trump could provoke Pyongyang into war, regional powers such as China and Russia have requested calm.

Thus far, the Trump administration has taken the diplomatic route, recently, encouraged by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit to hold talks.

Maintaining deterrence against North Korea

Currently, the director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Security and International Studies suggested that deterrence was the way to protect from a missile attack.

That it was important to show North Korea that the U.S. and South Korea could hold them off from conducting missile attacks. Such a situation was rumored to already have happened during at least one ballistic missile test which failed after launch. It was suggested that the U.S. might have hacked the missile causing it to detonate.

Overall, despite the intercontinental missile test, it's still unknown if North Korea has a nuclear warhead that can fit at the end of the missile, much less one that could sustain re-entry into the atmosphere. During the last test, experts maintain that even the tested ICBM would not be able to reach the U.S. mainland or Hawaii and the larger islands in the Pacific Ocean. Pyongyang nonetheless claims that they do have the capability and have repeatedly threatened to strike the U.S. and allies.