(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

North Korea is testing nuclear missiles to provoke a U.S. response

North Korea is trying to aggravate Americans on the July 4 holiday — and it seems to be working


Matthew Rozsa
July 5, 2017 11:53AM (UTC)

North Korea's successful test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile is having serious repercussions on the international political stage.

The North Korean media hailed the launched as a "package of gifts" for "American bastards," according to CNN. A local media outlet reported that "with a broad smile on his face," dictator Kim Jong Un urged his officials to "frequently send big and small 'gift packages' to the Yankees."

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North Korea also claimed that their "warhead accurately hit the targeted waters without any structural breakdown at the end of its flight," a claim obviously intended to seem ominous to the United States. Alaska could be reachable by an ICBM like the one North Korea launched.

The missile was launched late Monday (Tuesday in North Korea) and both flew higher and remained in the air for a longer period than past attempts by that country, according to the Washington Post.

Not surprisingly, President Donald Trump did the form of diplomacy he knew best; he took to Twitter to insult North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

In response to North Korea's test, the United States and South Korea fired missiles of their own in the waters off of South Korea, according to Reuters. In a statement, the United States Army said that "the deep strike precision capability enables the (South Korean)-U.S. alliance to engage the full array of time critical targets under all weather conditions."

Meanwhile Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared that America would support "stronger measures to hold the DPRK accountable," arguing that "global action is required to stop a global threat" and denouncing countries that provide economic or military assistance to North Korea for "aiding and abetting a dangerous regime."

In a statement, Pentagon spokeswoman Dana W. White said that "we remain prepared to defend ourselves and our allies and to use the full range of capabilities at our disposal against the growing threat from North Korea. The United States seeks only the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Our commitment to the defense of our allies, the Republic of Korea and Japan, in the face of these threats, remains ironclad."

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Perhaps the one unintentional humorous note in this whole mess was seeing Trump's Twitter account get one-upped by his United Nations ambassador, when Nikki Haley made it clear that she is upset North Korea's shenanigans interfered with her Fourth of July festivities.


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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