North Korea Missile Launch

Gabrielle Klemt - 2A Geological
Posted on: March 11, 2017

In a world dominated by Trump and his cabinet’s shenanigans, we sometimes need news to lighten up the mood and give us hope for our future on this planet. Unfortunately, if you want to read an article about that, you should not read this article. The type of lightening up in this article is the kind where a missile lights up the sky, not exactly cheery.

The history of North Korea’s missile launches is one that paints a worrisome picture for the future. Since the 1980s, North Korea has seriously ramped up its missile research and development. In 2016 alone, Kim Jong-un ordered the launch of more than 15 ballistic missile tests and 2 nuclear tests, topping off their nuclear tests at a total of 5. If you’re looking at that number thinking it’s higher than you thought, you’re not alone. The ballistic missile launched in August of 2016 was the first to land off the coast of Japan, causing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to call North Korea a “grave threat” to Japan.

North Korea’s refusal to accept sanctions being placed on it from the UN, United States and South Korea has given the communist republic the title of “rogue nation”. It’s pretty much agreed at this point that North Korea will do what it wants, when it wants, which we should definitely be scared about. North Korea’s apparent goal is to create a missile capable of hitting the US. Though they have not done it yet, the latest missile test on March 6 landed four missiles into the Sea of Japan sending ripples of concern across the world. The missiles travelled 1,000 km and have been deemed collectively by the offices of PM Abe and President Trump to be “a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions”.

Unfortunately, apart from continuing military drills at their bases in the States and imposing sanctions, there is not much the US, or Canada for that matter, can really do to help. Last year, the South Korean military, in collaboration with the Pentagon, agreed to equip South Korea with the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery, America’s most advanced missile detection system. Although this decision was considered contentious at the time with many South Koreans protesting by shaving their heads, plans have continued to proceed to have THAAD in place in Seongju by the end of 2017.

So could North Korea be within missile reach of North America in the near future? Well, it’s certain that they have inter-continental range arms in development that could travel over 5,500 km. In fact, Canada is closer than the States if we’re looking at missile reach. Additionally, in February of this year, North Korea successfully used a carrier version of their longest range missile, the Taepodong-2, to launch a satellite, increasing their reach to possible space launches.

Should you be worried? Well I’d say generally not yet, and who knows, maybe Trump and Kim will get friendly. I feel like if any one man could solve the inter-continental animosity, it would be that guy! I guess we just have to wait and see, but this isn’t really the kind of waiting game I like.