North Korea spent Saturday waving its missile arsenal around alongside endless rows of goose-stepping soldiers during The Day of the Sun parade. Elsewhere, folks nervously wondered whether Kim Jong-Un’s sixth nuclear test would happen as rumored. The regime has made a number of threats lately, including talk of wanting to “pulverize” U.S. military bases in South Korea. North Korea has already attempted to do so in Japan, and now they’ve made another attempt at testing … something. The effort was a failure.
The BBC relays word from the South Korean military that that North Korea attempted to launch an “unidentified type of missile” that promptly fizzled, which is news that undoubtedly embarrassed the heck out of nuclear-obsessed dictator Kim Jong-Un. The New York Times adds that this was a ballistic missile with no indication of whether it was of the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) variety. The publication also passes on word from a U.S. Pacific Command spokesperson:
“U.S. Pacific Command detected and tracked what we assess was a North Korean missile launch at 11:21 a.m. Hawaii time April 15. The launch of the ballistic missile occurred near Sinpo,” said Cmdr. Dave Benham, a spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Command.
The missile blew up almost immediately, and the type of missile involved was still being assessed … “U.S. Pacific Command is fully committed to working closely with our allies in the Republic of Korea and in Japan to maintain security.” Benham said.
Saturday’s parade showcased three different varieties of ICBMs alongside a seemingly endless stream of tanks, all of which came out to celebrate what would have been the 105th birthday of North Korean founder Kim Il-Sung. As for Kim Jong-Un, he’s made noises about launching an ICBM (and warned President Trump that he could do so “anytime and anywhere”), so there’s a fair chance that he tested one of those puppies today.
Recently, the war of words between the U.S. and North Korea has accelerated with Trump’s tweets apparently coming off as “aggressive.” On Friday, the White House decided to change course and aim for “engagement” while pressuring the foreign power to give up their nuclear dream. This change of heart from the U.S. arrived after Rex Tillerson decided he had nothing to say about North Korea, but surely he should have something more to say soon?