Latest tests are another sign that Pyongyang is deadly serious about developing and fielding nuclear-tipped missiles capable of striking the US mainland.

By Michael Elleman, Senior Fellow for Missile Defence

While North Korea’s missile test on August 28, reportedly of the intermediate range Hwasong-12 (KN-17), broke up into three pieces during flight only flying 2,700 kilometers—far short of its 4,000 kilometer range—the launch was a disturbing development in Pyongyang’s continuing program to develop long-range missiles.

The test launch had two primary objectives. First, Kim Jong Un likely sought to take measure of the international community’s response to the overflight of Japanese territory. Though North Korea twice before attempted to launch a satellite using a flight path that passed over Japan, the Hwasong-12 is the first ballistic missile to overfly the island nation. If the US response to the test firing is judged to be mild by Pyongyang, North Korea may feel that future flights will be similarly accepted by Washington and its regional allies.

Read the full article at 38 North.

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