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US Braces For ICBM Test As North Korean Holiday Begins

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

It is now Sept. 9 in North Korea, meaning the country’s celebration of the 69th anniversary of the creation of the North Korean state has officially begun. Last year, the country celebrated its 68th anniversary with its fifth nuclear test. This year, the US and South Korea are anticipating another demonstration of military strength from the isolated country – most likely another missile test.

According to the Associated Press, Seoul's Unification Ministry spokeswoman Eugene Lee said Friday that Pyongyang could potentially conduct its next ICBM tests this weekend or around Oct. 10. On the previous North Korean holiday, which took place in April, Kim Jong Un paraded what appeared to be an arsenal of ICBM’s through the center of Pyongyang to celebrate the birthday of Kim Il Sung, Kim’s grandfather and the founder of North Korea.

Any missile test would be the country’s first since it fired a medium-range missile over the Northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, an escalation that alarmed US and Japanese officials and briefly sent stocks reeling before the dip was immediately bought. A few days before, the North fired three short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan.

However, the North hasn’t tested a missile with intercontinental range since July, when it twice tested its developmental Hwasong-14 ICBMs. Analysts say the flight data from the launches indicate the missiles could cover a broad swath of the continental United States, including major cities such as Los Angeles and Chicago, when perfected, according to the AP.

While the North has previously fired the ICBMs at highly lofted angles to reduce ranges and avoid other countries, South Korean officials say the next launches could be conducted at angles close to operational as the North would seek to test whether the warheads survive the harsh conditions of atmospheric re-entry.

As the AP notes, Kim, a third-generation dictator in his 30s, has conducted four of North Korea's six nuclear tests since taking power in 2011. The North Korean military has maintained a torrid pace in testing weapons, which also include solid-fuel missiles built to be fired from road mobile launchers or submarines.

Kim, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently reminded us, believes obtaining nuclear weapons is his best chance at securing his family’s hold on power by enabling them to keep “US imperialists” at bay.

Both Chinese and Russian officials have called for talks between the US and North Korea. The two countries even offered a “roadmap” to peace requiring that the US and South Korea cease their military exercises, which the North views as dress rehearsals for an invasion, while the North would halt its nuclear program.

However, in an unfortunate coincidence, any plans the Kim regime might have could be foiled by a severe geomagnetic storm raging from the sun, according to Express. The storm could interfere with the missile’s functionality, even if they’re outfitted to protect against the sun’s radiation.

If that’s the case, Kim might opt to bide his time. Maybe he’ll hold another parade like he did in April? Meanwhile, in the US, President Donald Trump yesterday reiterated that the US hasn’t ruled out a military response to the North’s provocations, adding that it’ll be a “sad day” for the North if the US is forced to attack.

At the very least, we’re sure Kim will take a few minutes to lob a few threats at the imperialists who’ve strangled his country’s economy with sanctions, and are hoping to further tighten the screws.


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