North Korea missile test shows ‘tremendous capability’
North Korea has successfully launched a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which it says is capable of reaching anywhere in the United States. The missile test has prompted strong condemnations, including from the United Nations (UN)’s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who called on North Korea to “desist taking any further destabilizing steps.” However, Pyongyang says it needs to develop its missiles and nuclear weapons as a deterrent against hostility by the US and its regional allies.
Press TV has talked to Jason Unruhe, political commentator and analyst, as well as Michael Lane, geopolitical and security analyst, to get their opinion on North Korea’s latest missile launch.
Unruhe believes the latest missile test is a “significant advance”, adding that it demonstrates the “tremendous capability” of North Korea.
He went on to say that although there is “no concrete proof” that a nuclear bomb can be placed on the missile, the fact that it can reach the mainland United States is “a big step forward.”
The analyst further expressed doubt that North Korea will ever give up its nuclear capability, emphasizing that it is going to remain a “nuclear- armed state” in order to defend itself against US hostility.
“The United States is still an imperialist power which is constantly threatening them, which is putting sanctions against them, which is trying to harm their economy, sabotage it, it is constantly making threats, geopolitical maneuvers to try to destabilize it … So the DPRK really has no reason to get rid of the nuclear power it has,” he said.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Unruhe opined that North Korea’s desire to “forge its own path” and put its military and independence above anything else seems “perfectly reasonable” given the fact that there are a lot of “hostile foreign actors” standing against it.
He also asserted that the United States’ arms sales to Japan and South Korea has escalated tensions on the Korean Peninsula, arguing that it has made North Korea more belligerent in its desire to defend itself.
The analyst further concluded by saying that the United States can put many sanctions against North Korea in order to cause harm but it cannot make it “surrender” or “bow to pressures.”
Meanwhile, Michael Lane, the other panelist on the program, maintained that the latest missile test was “very much a success”, adding that it has put the world on notice that North Korea is advancing its nuclear and ballistic missile program faster than predicted.
However, he said, it is a “semi game change” rather than a complete one because there is no evidence that North Korea has been able to miniaturize the missile’s warhead in order to be able to reach the entire US mainland.
The analyst further opined that the administration of US President Donald Trump does not consider the threat posed by North Korea “imminent.” Therefore, he stated, “a preemptive strike” is probably not in the cards but it depends on how much progress North Korea makes in developing its nuclear weapons.