North Korea Relations
Kim Jong-Un Wishes You a New Year of Terror
SNA (Tokyo) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, as he has done for five consecutive years, held a televised address on New Year’s Day. This time, however, he made a claim that hit the global headlines: “Research and development of cutting-edge weapons are actively progressing and strengthening our defense capabilities, including last stage preparation of tests for an ICBM launch.”
North Korea conducted its fifth and largest nuclear test last September 9, and should these nuclear weapons be fitted as warheads on an advanced ICBM, they could potentially reach as far as California on the US West Coast. Most outside analysts believe, however, that Pyongyang is at least several years away from possessing such a capability.
Perhaps in part because due to the holiday, there was no immediate official reaction from the Abe administration to Kim Jong-Un’s ICBM claim.
North Korea has been under UN sanctions since 2006, but in spite of several rounds of tightening, Kim’s determination to develop missiles and nuclear weapons has been undeterred.