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North Korea fires intercontinental missile. Here's what you need to know

Posted July 7

Both the United States and South Korea confirmed that North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile over the weekend, saying that the missile could hit the United States.

The U.S. and South Korea, in response to the news, conducted a missile drill, according to BBC.

Both Russia and China have called for North Korea to end its push to be a nuclear power, according to BBC.

There’s some uncertainty about whether this new missile could hit the U.S., experts told BBC.

North Korea violated the U.N. Security Council, which told the country not to conduct missile tests. Leaders of the U.S. met with the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing issue.

Here’s a quick rundown of what else you need to know about this development.

  • North Korea called the missile launch a “package of gifts” for America on July 4, according to CNN. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told officials to "frequently send big and small 'gift packages' to the Yankees," CNN reported.

  • The missile fired from Panghyon, North Korea, and landed in the sea just off of the Korean Peninsula, traveling about 578 miles, according to CNN.

  • Experts who analyzed the trajectory said it could reach Alaska, Slate reported. Despite its inability to reach the continental U.S., the missile's launch shows ongoing progress from the country in its desire to create long-range nuclear weaponry.

  • President Donald Trump criticized North Korea’s decision on Twitter.

    • He also blamed China for working with North Korea.

      • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for “global action” to stop North Korea. He said, “Global action is required to stop a global threat. Any country that hosts North Korean guest workers, provides any economic or military benefits, or fails to fully implement U.N. Security Council resolutions is aiding and abetting a dangerous regime.

      • U.S. officials feel there is no easy way to handle the North Korea standoff, according to The New York Times. A “surgical strike” or attack “would provoke a brutal counterattack against South Korea too bloody and damaging to risk,” The Times reported.

      • So what’s the solution? CNN’s John Everard opined that there are no easy options. Countries could impose economic sanctions, leading to a mass domestic revolt. But that will have consequences, since China has an economic stake in the country, too. Military action would lead to damage across the region, too, he wrote.

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