(Image from Wikimedia Commons)
Why is everyone talking about North Korea?
Recently, the Hermit Kingdom successfully launched a missile and it’s being labelled as an ICBM. An ICBM in an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile, meaning one day NK might hope that a few missiles could reach a different continent. Some fingers are pointing to the continent being North America as relations between the USA and NK are heating up. Here’s a breakdown of what’s happening now and the implications it could have on international relations post-G20 Summit.
Who: The main players in this are Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, although other states have key roles in how things play out. Remember, Kim Jong-un is the dictator of North Korea, a place where highly organized military marches and secrecy exist. Donald Trump is the president of the United States, a place that has a lot of military expenditure and Big Macs. These two states have not seen eye-to-eye on many levels and tensions worsened when NK attempted a missile launch in 2006 which failed. Other key players in relations are South Korea, Japan, China and humans across the world.
What: Last week, North Korea launched a missile that could potentially carry a nuclear warhead. It’s being labelled as an ICBM because it could have the potential to fly up to 6,700kms from its launch site. That is far enough to be considered an intercontinental projectile and could reach American soil. Scary stuff to consider.
Where: The missile was launched from Panghyon in North Korea and landed in the Sea of Japan 930kms from its launch site.
When: It was said to have launched on July 3rd or 4th, though sources have been unclear. Around the time for America’s Independence Day.
Why: Is it so important? Tensions were already high between NK and the US meaning the recent launch has everyone walking on egg shells. The US has pressured states with weapons testing in the past (think Iraq, think Iran) and now NK is openly showing off its missile muscle. After the missile tests in 2006, the Hermit Kingdom was slapped with sanctions from states all over the world. Some say that the sanctions combined with the fear that the US would try to forcibly enter the Kingdom have made Kim want to up his nuclear program. The recent missile test was the most successful launch which means Kim’s nuclear program could be getting better. Allegedly, the Hermit state will continue to work on the long-range missile that eventually could hit Alaska and parts of the Yukon in Canada.
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