North Korea Continue to Develop ICBM as the World Focuses on Russia

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Isolated State vows to procure a “powerful strike means” as it once again tests banned Intercontinental Ballistic Missile.

 While the world focus’ it’s attention on the war in Ukraine, North Korea is taking advantage of the lack of focus on their nation to test new banned missiles. For weeks the isolated Asian nation has tested parts if all their missiles before launching the banned Hwasong-17 ICBM on Friday. Neighboring countries South Korea and Japan have condemned the attack and called it an extreme escalation. This is the first time North Korea has tested an ICBM since 2017. North Korea denies the allegations and says the launches are satellite related. However, in Pyongyang, there was a different tone. North Korean leader Kim Jon-un told his people “we must be strong under whatever circumstances to defend peace, accelerate socialist construction and be responsible for the security of the rising generations, free from any threat,”. Many people pointing out that’s not exactly something one says after launching satellites into the air.

The missile reportedly flew 1,100 kilometers and was in the air for over an hour. North Korea’s most powerful ICBM (Hwasong-15 ICBM) is thought to have the range of 13,000km and hit any continental region of US land. Interestingly, nations disagree about the type of missile that was fired. Japanese authorities initially said they believe the missile is stronger than the missiles launched in 2017. Those claims were backed up by Pyongyang who announced they tested the new and improved Hwasong-17 ICBM. Then late Sunday evening US and South Korean authorities contradicted this statement saying that the missile tested was the Hwasong-15 ICBM; the same launched in 2017, now newly labelled as a propaganda tool. Sources said the US came to this decision after analyzing the combustion time and engine nozzles of the missile fired.

However, just because North Korea is testing mistles every week does not mean a nuclear war is imminent.  Professor Leif-Eric Easley, Ewha University in Seoul says there is not an imminent North Korean threat to the world; “North Korea is nowhere near initiating aggression on the scale of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.” However, sanctions on nations aiding North Korea’s weapons growth will be necessary in the future. Countries like China and Russia are seen as a potential aid to North Korea and their current regime.

South Korean and US officials have been warning for weeks that a missile test was imminent. Nonetheless, the region is on high alert as more test are expected in the coming months.