Ball in Trump’s court
North Korea defies threats with new missile launch over Japan
NORTH Korea fired an intermediate-range missile over Japan into the northern Pacific Ocean yesterday, its longestsuch flight and a clear message of defiance to its rivals.
Since US President Donald Trump threatened the North with “fire and fury” in August, Pyongyang has conducted its most powerful nuclear test, threatened to send missiles into the waters around Guam and launched two missiles of increasing range over US ally Japan.
It tested its first intercontinental ballistic missiles in July.
Earlier this week, the UN Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions on North Korea after it carried out its sixth and strongest nuclear test on September 3.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said yester- day’s launch, along with “violent outbursts of North Korean propaganda threatening Japan and the US overnight,” were signs “the sanctions are working.”
He called for greater global action to deter North Korea, noting China had the greatest economic leverage over Pyongyang.
The possibility of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un start- ing a war would be a “catastrophe,” he said.
“He would be signing a suicide note. That would be the end for his government and thousands and thousands of people would die.”
The growing frequency, power and confidence displayed by these tests seem to confirm what governments and outside experts have long feared: North Korea is closer to its goal of building a military arsenal to viably target both US troops in Asia and the US homeland.
This, in turn, is meant to allow North Korea greater military freedom in the region by raising doubts in Seoul and Tokyo that Washington would risk the annihilation of a US city to protect its Asian allies.
It is estimated the missile travelled about 3700km.