Last week, North Korea said the U.S. government's decision to list their country as a “state sponsor of terrorism,” was a “serious provocation and violent infringement.”
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea, as North Korea is officially called, has test-launched a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile after a 75-day respite, according to the militaries of the U.S. and South Korea.
"North Korea launched an unidentified ballistic missile into the East Sea from the vicinity of Pyongsong, South Pyongan Province, at around 3:17 a.m. today," South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.
The missile was fired at an apparent lofted angle, according to analysts, before landing in the Sea of Japan approximately 1,000 kilometers away, according to Pentagon spokesman Col. Robert Manning.
If it had been fired at a standard angle, it would have gone over 10,000 kilometers – far beyond the 7,575 kilometers needed to strike the U.S. Pacific forces' headquarters in Hawaii.
Earlier in the year, the country engaged in a series of missile and nuclear tests between April and September that they have cited as necessary in order to deter aggression, invasion and strikes on North Korea's supreme leadership by the United States and its junior partners, Japan and South Korea.
"Initial assessment indicates that this missile was an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)," Pentagon spokesman Col. Robert Manning said in a statement.
The U.S. currently has nearly 30 thousand troops, and a THAAD missile system stationed in South Korea, and has remained technically at war with the DPRK since 1953.
Tensions have ratcheted up since Donald Trump took office at the beginning of the year. The president has repeatedly said that a “military option” is on the table if North Korea continues to develop its nuclear program, even threatening to “totally destroy” the East Asian country during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in September.
Of the latest test missile, Trump told reporters at the White House: “It is a situation that we will handle.”
Trump has repeatedly denigrated the possibility of pursuing diplomatic options, much to the chagrin of various members of the international community such as China and Russia, as well as members of his own cabinet.
Regardless, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson noted in a statement that “diplomatic options remain viable and open, for now,” adding that the international community must tighten pressure on North Korea, including enhancing the right to interdict maritime traffic to the country.
However, North Korea has indicated that it has no interest in negotiating with the United States unless the latter's hostile policy and nuclear threats are dropped.
Yesterday, Pyongyang's official Rodong Sinmun denounced Washington's decision to list North Korea as a so-called “state sponsor of terrorism,” describing the move as “the last-ditch efforts of the losers who repeatedly suffered bitter setbacks in the confrontation with the (DPRK).”
“No matter how desperately old lunatic Trump may try to isolate and stifle the DPRK by 'demonizing' it, he can never cover up his criminal nature as chieftain of aggression and war and the biggest sponsor of terrorism,” the editorial added.
“The U.S. is mulling getting something from sanctions and pressure upon the DPRK. This is a pipedream of the fools who are utterly ignorant of the DPRK.”