The world is certainly tense enough without the dainty despot in North Korea gaining access to any truly powerful weapons, yet here we are.
As the global community continues to march into some forewarned dystopia, the idea that Kim Jong Un could be in possession of world-class nuclear weapons remains a major concern. Things are moving loose and fast these days, and there’d be no catalyst like the unhinged Kim suddenly sending hypersonic hell around the planet.
Well. Don’t look now.
A suspected ballistic missile launched by North Korea on Tuesday was more advanced than the missile Pyongyang tested last week, reaching a velocity of more than 10 times the speed of sound, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.
Tuesday’s projectile was launched from Jangang province, near the North Korean border with China and landed in the ocean between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, its flight covering a distance of more than 700 kilometers (435 miles) and reaching a height of 60 kilometers (37 miles), the statement said.
And this thing was quick.
Assessment of the test by South Korean and United States intelligence was ongoing, but initial analysis showed Tuesday’s test, in which the projectile reached a speed of Mach 10 was of a more advanced weapon than the test North Korea conducted last Thursday, the South Korean Joint Chiefs said.
That test was of what North Korean state media claimed was a hypersonic missile, the second alleged test of such a weapon by the Kim Jong Un regime. However, many experts doubted this claim.
The sudden escalation in abilities comes at a peculiar time for North Korea, and has many experts wondering if they’ve gotten a helping hand from Russia or China.