“despite looming U.N. sanctions on the communist state for its previous test in May”
Commons sense would indicate sanctions don’t work.
In other words, I think they're past the stage where the nuclear weapons program was primarily a tool to get attention and blackmail. Now it's primarily a tool to get nuclear weapons.
In the end, it's all about money and stability. Blackmail worked for a while, but the regime simply needs more income. Being the nuclear weapons Wal-Mart of the world will fix the income issue for decades.
But first, they need a working product.
Don’t you wish reporters would omit the verb “braces” from their repertoire? I mean, is SK really Bracing for it? Is the gulf coast really bracing for “the worst hurricane season in history?”
Reminds me of the old “Duck & Cover” films the schools showed us in the 50s & 60s. Brace yourself! Don't look at the blast!
Of course, the cowards in DC will be bracing themselves, too. And that is ALL they will do.
If I were KJI, & I kept testing nukes & firing missiles for practice, & the USA, despite claiming to be able to intercept these missiles, never did try to intercept these missiles; I might just believe the USA is lying about its anti-missile missiles. And if I thought that, then I can hold SK & Japan nuclear hostage & demand anything I want. If I don't get it, then my “tests” will become ever more threatening & frequent, until one day it is NOT a test.
Who's gonna stop him, Zer0, Hillary, Nancy, & Harry? The UN (Useless Nannies)? How about a “coalition of the willing”? KJI would laugh at that louder than I do.
Obviously, the policy has been to let NK starve itself into collapse, a policy Zer0 seems content to continue. But KJI has a nuclear “ace up his sleeve”, & as his hold on power becomes more flimsy, his desperation will increase, as will the temptation to use that Ace.
Though I doubt KJI has yet to have a “deliverable” nuke, he is obviously much further along in this than is Iran, & his 2 potential targets - SK & Japan - are much closer than Iran is to Israel.
So Zer0 & co. need to get serious with NK & shoot down at least one of these missiles, so that KJI will know that he can't win this game. Others will take note of our anti-missile capability & be fairly warned.