North Korea Launches Hwasong 15 ICBM
North Korea has made a major step towards developing a nuclear weapons capability with the successful launch of the Hwasong 15 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on November 29, 2017. This is the most powerful ballistic missile ever tested by the North Korean regime, and it is capable of reaching the United States mainland. The missile was launched from the Pyongsong region, in the North Pyongan province, at 3:17 a.m. local time. It reached an altitude of 4,475 kilometers (2,780 miles) and flew 950 kilometers (590 miles) before landing in the Sea of Japan. It is estimated to have a range of 13,000 kilometers (8,100 miles). This would make it capable of reaching the United States mainland.
A Technological Advancement
The launch of the Hwasong 15 ICBM is a significant technological advancement for North Korea. It has demonstrated that the regime has the capability to build an ICBM capable of delivering a nuclear payload to the United States mainland. The missile is powered by a solid-fuel engine, which makes it easier to launch and maneuver than the liquid-fuel engine used in the Hwasong 14 ICBM. It is also larger, and has a significantly longer range. This makes it a much more dangerous weapon.
The international community was quick to condemn the launch, with the United Nations Security Council holding an emergency meeting to discuss the situation. The United States, Japan, and South Korea all condemned the launch and called for tougher sanctions against North Korea. The United States had previously threatened to impose additional sanctions on North Korea if it continued to test its missiles. However, these threats have so far been unsuccessful in deterring North Korea.
Implications for the Region
The launch of the Hwasong 15 ICBM has serious implications for the region. It has increased tensions between North Korea and its neighbors, and has raised the possibility of a military conflict. The launch has also increased the possibility of a nuclear arms race in the region. South Korea and Japan have both expressed a desire to develop nuclear weapons, and this could lead to an even more unstable situation in the region.
The United States Response
The United States has condemned the launch and is considering further sanctions against North Korea. The United States is also considering the deployment of additional THAAD missile defense systems in South Korea to protect against future North Korean missile launches. The United States is also working with its allies in the region to increase pressure on North Korea. This includes working with China to reduce economic ties and trade with North Korea.
The Future of North Korea
The launch of the Hwasong 15 ICBM has increased the possibility of a military conflict in the region. It has also increased the possibility of a nuclear arms race in the region. The United States and its allies are working to increase pressure on North Korea and reduce its ability to launch missiles. However, it remains to be seen if this will be successful in deterring North Korea from further missile launches.
The launch of the Hwasong 15 ICBM is a significant step forward for North Korea in its pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability. It has increased tensions in the region, and the potential for a nuclear arms race. The United States and its allies are working to increase pressure on North Korea and reduce its ability to launch missiles, but it remains to be seen if this will be successful.