The Tubby Tyrant may have managed to alter permanently the balance of power in East Asia. The Intercontinental Hwasong-14 missile launched on Tuesday, July 4th by North Korea may have serious and far-reaching implications.

The missile soared 1,700 miles into the atmosphere for a 37-minute flight before landing 500 miles to the east in the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan. Analysts speculate that on a flatter trajectory that very same missile could threaten the entire state of Alaska.

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Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson confirmed late Tuesday night that the U.S. government believes that North Korea now possesses an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Tillerson said in a statement –

“Testing an ICBM represents a new escalation of the threat to the U.S., our allies and partners, and the world.”

Tillerson also expressed his mounting frustration with China and their continued aid to the North Korean regime.

 “Any country that hosts North Korean guest workers, provides any economic or military benefits or fails to fully implement U.N. Security Council resolutions is aiding and abetting a dangerous regime.”

Kim Jong-un’s regime has long attempted to pursue their desire to turn North Korea into a nuclear power, testing nuclear missiles even in the face of U.S. sanctions and threats of potential military actions.  This test was considered to be far more successful than expected.

The Trump administration and foreign governments around the region were quick to condemn the missile launch, yet many acknowledge that short of military force it is unlikely North Korea will cease.

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Former acting CIA Director Michael J. Morell told CBS This Morning

“There is no good option here. There is no option to [take out the North’s nuclear programs] that wouldn’t start a second Korean war and wouldn’t raise the possibility of [Mr. Kim] using nuclear weapons against his neighbors.”

An emergency meeting of the Group of 20 Summit has been scheduled for the Japan, South Korea, and the U.S. with North Korea’s recent aggressive military action sure to be a main topic of conversation.

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China and Russia released a joint statement in response to the test, proposing that North Korea agree to suspend its ballistic missile testing program in exchange for a halt to joint South Korean-U.S. military exercises.The Pentagon says the exercises are vital to protect its ally. North Korea has refused, condemning the actions as a rehearsal for invasion.

According to the Washington Times, footage on state-controlled TV showed Kim and his generals monitoring the test in real time, and the female newscaster who typically announces such breakthroughs said the purported home-grown ICBM was a “glistening miracle” that demonstrated the “unwithering power of our state.”

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While the world has condemned the North’s nuclear and missile programs as deeply destabilizing, the North Koreans insisted they were acting in self-defense.

Per the official statement from North Korea read on their national state-run TV –

As a nuclear power with an ICBM “capable of hitting any part of the world,” North Korea “will fundamentally terminate the U.S. nuclear war threats and blackmail and credibly protect the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the region.” 

Many believe that the U.S. and its allies are facing a series of bad choices over exactly how to address the problem that has become North Korea. President Trump may be coming to a point of “do or die,” where we either go to the diplomatic table or we make some sort of serious aggressive military maneuver of our own showing we mean business.

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