Followers of international news are well aware that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has been incredibly missile launch-happy lately in addition to having nukes in the brain, all of which falling within his current efforts to have his country develop a powerful enough nuclear warhead and a long-range missile platform that could deliver such warheads at the United States as a projection of force he sees as vital to get the community of nations to be healthily fearful of him, his regime and his isolated nation. And he’s not going to let setbacks and failures deter him from doing so, not even by the failure of their latest test missile launch.
The New York Times reports that on the early morning (local time) of Thursday October 20, North Korea perform another test launch of their Hwasong-10 missile, known internationally as the Musudan, from the vicinity of Banghyon Airport in northwestern Kusong City. Similar in result to an earlier missile test done only four days ago at the same area, the test Musudan exploded after launch, written off as another failure.
North Korea has attempted several launch tests for the Musudan, intended to be an intercontinental ballistic missile platform with the longest range yet of any missile they have fielded. South Korean military intelligence states that if the design is proven, the Musudan will have a maximum range exceeding 2,000 miles, and could theoretically be capable of delivering a nuclear strike not only on South Korea and Japan, but on Guam and other American military bases across the Pacific.
So far, only one test of the missile has been considered successful, back in June after five consecutive failures. However, the series of seven snafus following that triumph, where the test Musudan either fell into the sea or exploded in mid-air, seem to prove that the design has yet to iron out it flaws.
As always the failed North Korean missile test was detected by the United State Strategic Command, and in a subsequent news released assured the public that the launch posed no danger to North America. Meanwhile the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff laid down in their own statement their condemnation of the North for their continuing munitions tests and general belligerent and provocative approach to international relations.
This status quo of North Korea grabbing the world’s attention with its military spending, and the resulting international backlash led by South Korea and the US, has been going to a head in recent months. It’s believed that the continuing tests of the Musudan were in response to the challenge posed by US Secretary of State John Kerry in pledging the deployment of several units of the advanced THAAD missile defense system on South Korean soil as a check against Kim’s posturing.
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