Upping the Ante
Listen to Today's Edition
North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Thursday, the first major weapons test by the country in more than four years, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Data from the Japanese and South Korean military showed that the missile reached an altitude of more than 3,700 miles and a distance topping 680 miles. The flight data also showed that the ICBM could carry multiple tons of payload – or multiple smaller warheads – over an intercontinental range.
The new weapon surpassed the 2017 Hwasong-15 missile test and further demonstrated North Korea’s capability to strike the United States.
South Korea chided its neighbor for breaking its pledge to suspend ICBM launches, while the US said the test “needlessly raises tensions.”
Thursday’s launch marks the latest escalation by Pyongyang, which has conducted 11 missile tests since the beginning of the year – more than all of last year.
The recent test marks another chapter in the stalled nuclear talks between North Korea and the West: Washington and Pyongyang have held two nuclear summits to reach a denuclearization deal, prompting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to impose a moratorium on nuclear tests.
But the summits failed to produce an agreement and there have been no formal negotiations in more than two years.
Analysts told the Journal that it’s unclear if Pyongyang will pursue more ICBM tests but added that any future talks with the US and South Korea will be on its own terms.