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Three Things That Make This North Korea Test Different Than the Others

A longer range for North Korea’s latest missile, a new target for the Kim regime, and a new sheriff in town for South Korea.

North Korea test

North Korea tested another missile over the weekend, the latest in a long string of tests that provoke regular condemnation from the U.S. and its allies in the region. The Sunday test, though, is different from the others in a number of notable ways.

#1: BIGGER, BADDER

North Korea’s test missile “can carry a large, heavy nuclear warhead,” according to both the Kim Jong-un regime and some independent experts.

More worrisome is the test missile’s new range of up to 2,800 miles. The New York Times on why this is a problem:

That would qualify the projectile as an intermediate-range ballistic missile, which could fly far enough to target key American military bases in the Pacific, including those in Guam.

#2: TARGET: RUSSIA

Most of North Korea’s recent missile tests have appeared to target Japan and South Korea, two of the north’s strongest adversaries. The Sunday test, though, landed only 60 miles “from the Russian port city of Vladivostock,” according to U.S. officials.

Russian President Vladimir Putin condemend the test as “counterproductive, damaging, dangerous,” but also appeared to criticize the U.S. for “intimidating” North Korea.

#3: MOON STARS

The Sunday test was the first under South Korea’s new president, Moon Jae-in. Moon had “promised to pursue negotiations and engagement with Pyongyang” during his campaign.

Of course, Moon condemned the test, noting the south will have “stern responses” for the north. Still, it remains to be seen if the early test will poison Moon’s attempts to try diplomacy with the north, which would be the first such effort from South Korea in years.