In defiance of the United States and China, North Korea decided to test another missile and issue more threats as the U.S. and China. Even though the United States has been building its military presence in the area, they still went ahead with the test.
Some of the initial reports conflicted about the type of missile and whether the launch was successful. South Korea’s Join Chiefs of Staff stated the missile test took place near Pukchang, which is found in central North Korea. It was done at about 5:30am local time on Saturday and estimates show it failed.
David Benham, the Navy Commander and spokesman for U.S. Pacific Command agreed that the launch was a failure. He stated the missile didn’t leave the North Korean territory and it may have broken up in flight.
However, other reports stated the missile was a short or medium-range Scud and flew about 25-30 miles before it splashed down off the coast of North Korean in the Sea of Japan.
U.S. and South Korea Not Surprised
Both the United States and South Korea has already been afraid of a provocation from North Korea this month. They expected either an underground nuclear test or another missile test. Since April 25th, when the North Korean army celebrated its 85th anniversary, South Korea had been expecting a provocation. The earlier failed test already provoked the U.S. to build up forces in the area by moving in the U.S. submarine Michigan, which is armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles. The U.S. is also expected to move in aircraft carrier Carl Vinson.
President Donald Trump had said in a Reuters interview, “There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely.” It was only hours later that North Korean tested the missile.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has called on the world community to pressure North Korea into abandoning their missile and nuclear programs. At the United Nations on Friday, he warned, “Diplomatic and financial leverage or power will be backed up by willingness to counteract North Korean aggression with military action, if necessary.”