The United States resorted to a rare joint missile exercise with South Korea as a response to North Korea’s testing of an intercontinental missile on Tuesday. In an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley called the North Korean test a “clear escalation” and urged the United Nations to toughen sanctions against the nation, calling the current ones “insufficient”. Other sources say that the United States will push for completely cutting off North Korea’s access to international currency markets, further restrictions on North Korean officials and even penalties for countries that make business transactions with North Korea. That last point seems to be a targeted threat towards China, which is known to have an uneasy relationship with its warmongering neighbor.
On Tuesday, North Korea tested the Hwasong-14, its first intercontinental ballistic missile, and the United States, from the very beginning, called the test a violation of United Natons resolutions. General Vincent Brooks, commander of American troops stationed in South Korea, went as far as to invoke the Korean War of the 1950s when saying, “Self-restraint… is all that separates armistice and war.”
Meanwhile, the South Korean military tested their own missiles with the support of the United States on Wednesday. According to their statement, the missiles had a range of 185 miles and were made with the potential to achieve “a precision strike at the enemy leadership”. However, they declined to reveal how far their missiles actually traveled. Japan is also considering taking measures to strengthen defense in light of the North Korean tests. For example, a spokesman for Japan’s Defense Ministry said that the government is considering purchasing missile defense systems from the United States. Other reports say that the Japanese government is considering the purchase of actual missiles in case an offensive measure is needed; the Defense Ministry has denied these claims.