North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un used his New Year’s Day speech to proclaim that the communist nation was edging close to an intercontinental nuclear missile test launch. The leader said that the potentially devastating weapon was in its “last stage” and would be tested as soon as possible. Many fear that a successful ICBM launch would give the unstable leader the ability to deploy a nuclear weapon that could reach the United States.
The Daily Mail reports that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un gave a New Year’s Day address noting the progress the small communist nation has made regarding nuclear weapon and intercontinental missile testing. The United Nations has had sanctions on North Korea since 2006 when the country openly began testing nuclear and ballistic missiles, tests that were in direct conflict with UN policy. Despite the sanctions, Kim Jong Un has continued to boldly celebrate and air his military progress to the world via the country’s television network.
In his address, Kim Jong Un noted that research and development of the “cutting edge arms” was in the “last stage.”
“Research and development of cutting edge arms equipment is actively progressing and ICBM rocket test launch preparation is in its last stage.”
The country has not been shy about denoting their missile and nuclear testing with the leader attempting not one but eight intermediate-range Musudan ballistic missiles just last year. Despite noting the progress North Korea has made, only one of the eight launches was successful. Despite the low rate of success, many foreign leaders have expressed concern over Un’s tests noting that the successful test was enough to give North Korea access to an attack on South Korea and Japan, and possibly the U.S. territory of Guam.
If North Korea successfully tests a long-range ballistic missile, it would give the country a missile range of up to 6,200 miles; California is just 5,592 miles from North Korea putting it at risk should Kim Jong Un’s plan come to fruition.
Reuters reports that U.S. State Department spokeswoman Anna Richey-Allen is openly denouncing Kim Jong Un for his statements urging all nations to use all channels possible to limit North Korea’s influence.
“All states to use every available channel and means of influence to make clear to the DPRK and its enablers that launches using ballistic missile technology are unacceptable, and take steps to show there are consequences to the DPRK’s unlawful conduct.”
The issue in North Korea is being taken seriously by not only the current Obama Administration, but U.S. Intelligence agencies have noted that President-Elect Donald Trump is also requesting a briefing on North Korea. A senior intelligence official told Reuters that President-Elect Donald Trump’s first and only classified intelligence briefing request has been regarding North Korea and Kim Jong Un.
As the North Korean dictator touts their military progress, others are looking to other signs that the isolated nation is going to attempt a long-range ballistic missile launch. Many point to North Korea’s successful satellite launch back in February of 2016 as part of the country’s long-range ballistic missile testing.
In Kim Jong Un’s address, he also noted that the testing would further cement the status of “socialism” as an “invincible fortress.”
“The political and military position of socialism should be further cemented as an invincible fortress. We should resolutely smash the enemies’ despicable and vicious moves to dampen the pure and ardent desire of the people for the party and estrange the people from it.”
What do you think of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un’s statements regarding further long-range ballistic missile testing? Should the United Nations do more to ensure that the small nation does not follow through with its plan?
[Featured Image by KRT/AP Images]