Latest North Korean missile test continues to strain global relations

Posted September 05, 2017

A man in Seoul, South Korea, watches a TV screen on Saturday showing file footage of a North Korean missile launch.

"The U.S. has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years".

President Barack Obama rarely ordered immediate responses to North Korean missile tests, "partly because he believed it gave DPRK the attention they were seeking", said Frank Jannuzi, president and CEO of the Mansfield Foundation and a longtime federal analyst who was part of the team that negotiated the Agreed Framework with North Korea during the Clinton administration.

By firing a missile over Japan and putting the Asia-Pacific, including Guam and its major US military base, on notice for more tests, North Korea may have won itself greater military space in a region dominated by enemies. Still, it's unclear whether the North will ever act on its threat to fire missiles at the "advanced base of invasion".

Analysts speculate the North may have tested a new intermediate-range missile that Pyongyang recently threatened to fire towards the U.S. territory of Guam, which hosts a major military base. North Korea threatened earlier this month to fire a salvo of Hwasong-12s - the same missile it sent over Japan on Tuesday - to create "enveloping fire" near Guam.

North Korea launched a ballistic missile over northern Japan early Tuesday, warning afterward that it was a first step in having a "Pacific operation".

Their effectiveness hinges largely on China, which accounts for 90% of trade with North Korea but is suspected of failing to enforce past United Nations measures. O'Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces Commander, who made an unscheduled visit to Japan.

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South Korea's foreign ministry warned that the North will face a "strong response" from the US-South Korean alliance if what it called nuclear and missile provocations continue. "They do a test, we fly bombers, F35 and sometimes others join us", he said.

This image, provided by Yonhap News TV, shows U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

This test marks the second time that a SM-6 missile has successfully intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target, officials said.

So the question is whether North Korea will put some checks on itself as it seeks to expand its weapons tests in the Pacific.

Won Kyu-wang, a 49-year-old office worker in Goyang, west of Seoul, said that he is not anxious because the North's provocations appear to ultimately target the USA, not the South, and mostly aim to raise the stakes in future nuclear negotiations with the U.S.

Officials say the USS John Paul Jones detected and tracked a medium-range ballistic missile that was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility. -South Korean war games.