North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un released footage of Tuesday morning’s missile launch that flew over Japan, and claimed that the launch is the beginning of operations within the Pacific, including more threats against Guam.
According to the BBC, the announcement came through North Korea’s state-run news organization, the Korean Central News Agency. The BBC said this is the first time North Korea admitted to firing a missile over Japan. Previously, Pyongyang had claimed that the launches which were seen over Japan were simply satellite launches.
The KNCA claimed Kim personally oversaw the launch of Tuesday’s Hwasong-12 rocket, and said the missile test was “like a real war,” and “the first step of the military operation of the KPA [Korean People’s Army] in the Pacific and a meaningful prelude to containing Guam.”
The BBC reported that Kim has ordered more rocket drills for various targets in the Pacific region.
Footage of the Hwasong-12’s launch was also released alongside the announcement of further planned action in the Pacific.
The BBC reported that President Donald Trump issued a statement from the White House after the launch, saying the world had “received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear”.
“This regime has signalled its contempt for its neighbours, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behaviour,” said Trump.
“Threatening and destabilising actions only increase the North Korean regime’s isolation in the region and among all nations of the world. All options are on the table,” said Trump.
Threats do nothing, and time is running out
According to the BBC, the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to condemn the North Korean missile launch, and the U.S. and Japan agreed to put further pressure on North Korea to discontinue their missile program. However, no words have remotely affected North Korea’s decision to stall their nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles development.
If Trump wants to prevent a nuclear North Korea, as he said he would, then taking military action against the rogue nation soon is one of the valid options that Trump said was on the table. North Korea has exhibited through both words and actions, however, that they do not plan on stopping their ICBM program, which would seem to leave Trump with little choice but to act with force where diplomacy failed.
However, both Russia and China have threatened retaliation if the U.S. acts against North Korea. China told the U.S. that if it conducts a first strike, it would intervene on North Korea’s behalf. Russia has flown nuclear bombers around the Korean Peninsula in a warning to the U.S. and South Korea against escalating tensions further.
At this point, no good outcomes are immediately clear.
At this juncture, it seems either Washington sits back and does nothing, allowing a volatile communist nation to construct their own nuclear missiles and threatening the world, or Washington utilizes military force against the communist nation, possibly triggering World War 3. If there are any diplomatic solutions that will coerce Pyongyang to do away with their nuclear program, one has not presented itself yet.