North Korea fired a missile Tuesday in its first test since launching one over Japan in mid-September. The Pentagon identified the missile as an ICBM in its initial assessment and said it travelled 1,000 kilometers before splashing down in the Sea of Japan. It reached an altitude of 4,500 kilometers, significantly higher than North Korea’s last launch. It flew for about 50 minutes but apparently did not cross over Japan.
According to CNN, South Korea carried out its own “precision missile strike drill” within minutes of the North Korean launch, demonstrating its ability to quickly respond to an attack.
President Trump called the launch “a situation that we will handle” and promised to “take care of it” but indicated that the U.S. stance on North Korea would not change.
The launch breaks up a two-month period of relative quiet on the peninsula after months of increasing tensions. It also comes a week after the Trump administration declared North Korea to be a “state sponsor of terrorism,” ramping up sanctions on the isolated regime.
Trump visited South Korea and China earlier this month, where North Korea was on the agenda. He told reporters during the trip that he saw signs of progress toward a diplomatic resolution of the conflict and was confident that it would all “work out … because it always works out, has to work out.”