William Davies, Associate Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:
“North Korea’s try-out of the ICBM is the latest in a number of missile tests conducted in recent weeks. However, the earlier tests were of smaller missiles. This latest, the Hwasong-17, is the largest liquid-fueled missile launched from a road-mobile launcher, and its launch is more concerning.
“The launch is expected to be an attempt by the North to threaten South Korean allies, including Japan and the US. The missile has a potential range of 13,000km, which may put it in range of the US. However, its accuracy is unknown. During the test it reached heights of 6,000km, indicating it was more powerful than previous tests that have only reached 4,500km.
“The development is likely to cause South Korea to heighten defense readiness—the country has already conducted missile launch drills. South Korea is forecast to increase its defense spending to $60.5 billion by 2026, while Japan is forecast to increase its spending to $69.4 billion in the same period. The increased defense spending for both countries is partially in response to increased threat from North Korea, with both countries viewing the country’s persistent missile tests as an existential threat. Additionally, the launch will likely launch further cooperation between the nations, with the US Japan and South Korea conducting talks following the launch.”
“North Korea halted long-range missile testing in 2017, but this launch indicates that this is now over. The country cites increased military activity on the Korean Peninsula as the reason behind the launch.”