North Korea missile launch pushes Kim Jong-un further towards confrontation with the United States – Australia News

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August 29, 2017 17:38:51

It’s a risky move.

When the North Koreans decided to fire an intermediate-range missile over northern Japan, they took a big gamble. How far could they push the United States before it reacts with anything other than words?

A few days earlier the regime fired three short-range missiles as the annual US-South Korean war games got underway. That provocation was largely ignored.

But this is different. Tuesday’s launch was probably one of the new Hwasong-12 missiles that the North had threatened to fire towards Guam.

The fact that didn’t happen earned Kim Jong-un praise from both Donald Trump and his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for his restraint.

But that brief flourish of detente is dead.

This latest missile, which clearly rattled Japan, is more evidence, if any were needed, that this is a regime unconcerned about the condemnation from countries like ours.

But there is a line beyond which the United States’ tolerance will end. How close we are to that, and what happens next, is unclear. But Kim Jong-un has decided, on this occasion, that he’s on the right side of that line. And he can tell his people of yet another glorious chapter in the ongoing battle…

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