...And the Rocket's Red Glare -- North Korea Apparently Tests ICBM

An rocket designed to intercept an intercontinental ballistic missiles is launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Calif. on Tuesday, May 30, 2017. The Pentagon says it has shot down a mock warhead over the Pacific in a success for America's missile defense program. The test was the first of its kind in nearly three years. And it was the first test ever targeting an intercontinental-range missile like North Korea is developing. (Matt Hartman via AP)

While Americans all across the fruited plains prepared to celebrate the greatest country in the world, North Korea was just trying to be noticed.

From the BBC:

An announcement on North Korea state television said a Hwasong-14 missile was tested on Tuesday, overseen by leader Kim Jong-un.

It said the projectile reached an altitude of 2,802km (1,731 miles) and flew 933km before hitting a target in the sea.

A statement on the official KCNA news agency said North Korea was now “a full-fledged nuclear power that has been possessed of the most powerful inter-continental ballistic rocket capable of hitting any part of the world”.

It would enable the country to “put an end to the US nuclear war threat and blackmail” and defend the Korean peninsula, it said.

While U.S. officials said the missile tested posed no threat as it was of intermediate range, some experts believe that such an ICBM could reach Alaska, though probably not the contingent states.

The test comes about a week after it was reported that the U.S. and China agreed to work to halt the North Korean nuclear program. According to Reuters

“Both sides reaffirm that they will strive for the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” a consensus document released by the official Xinhua news agency said.

President Trump has responded, predictably, on Twitter.

 

Earlier in the day and prior to the test, he also tweeted that North Korea has been “behaving very badly.”

North Korea is not the hosts of Morning Joe, even as he responds similarly to both. Foreign policy and national defense, unlike cable news is within the purview of the commander-in-chief. While the Norks probably cannot hit the U.S. mainland, never mind shield their rocket for reentry, experts do expect such capability in less than five years. One hopes the president is spending as much energy planning to prevent that outcome as he is tweeting about it.

For now at least, all Kim Jong-Un can do is vie for attention.