16 May 2017
On Sunday the 14th Korean Time, the Hermit Kingdom of the DPRK successfully launched a ballistic missile. It crossed North Korea from the West Coast, flew over the Sea of Japan and splashed harmlessly 60 miles from the Vladivostok Peninsula of Russia, prompting Russia to put all Eastern Air Defenses on High Alert.
Kim Jong Un supervised the launch of the Hwasong-12 missile that reached an altitude of 1,312 miles and flew 489 miles. KCNA said the test was “aimed at verifying the tactical and technological specifications of the newly developed ballistic rocket capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead,”
The capabilities of this new rocket mean that North Korea can at least effectively reach Guam where American B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers are stationed. With this range North Korea can effectively establish a regional nuclear deterrent. This is something the United States, China, Russia, Japan and other allies are trying to prevent in the region.
This launch is definitely a middle finger of sorts to China and Russia. It tells China that they can’t reign them in. It tells Russia, “Look here, we can hit you too.” This could be the catalyst that gets Russia more involved with China and the U.S. to stop the chubby dictator from going nuclear. However, another reason to fire towards Russia is radar. The path across North Korea kept the missile as far away from South Korean, Japanese and US radars as possible and even then those sensors would only get a side view, and radar gets a better look at things flying towards it.
More as the situation develops (and we all know it will)