Japan: N. Korea Launches Suspected ICBM Capable of Reaching US

    Photo: Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service/AP/FILE [via CNN]

    The Facts

    • On Friday, North Korea reportedly fired what appears to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) following the launch of a smaller missile on Thursday. Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada claims that the weapon can travel up to 15k km (9,320 mi), which theoretically means it could reach the mainland of the US.

    • The alleged ICBM reportedly traveled around 1k km (621 mi) and is thought to have landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone — about 210 km (130 mi) west of the Japanese island of Oshima Oshima.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    When Washington was truly committed to de-escalating tensions with North Korea, Pyongyang responded positively, halting missile tests and demolishing several testing sites. This changed when the US began to increase its military presence in the Asia-Pacific, posing an existential threat to the DPRK. Carrying out provocative drills will only escalate tensions.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Seoul and Washington have demonstrated goodwill toward Pyongyang in the hopes of creating an environment conducive to disarmament talks for four years. However, as North Korea has failed to make good on its promises — resuming its missile tests and further developing its nuclear program — a posture shift is necessary for the South and its allies to prepare for an attack from the North.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 17% chance that North Korea and South Korea will be recognized as a single sovereign state by 2045, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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