The heavily sanctioned state of North Korea test fired another ballistic missile late Friday night which is estimated to have landed 370 kilometres from the Japanese coast, the latest in a series of missile tests the country has conducted this year. Initial reports indicate no direct harm was caused by the test.

It is believed North Korea is testing its missiles to develop a range which encompasses the United States. The range covered by the latest test missile does not outright indicate the full range as it is assumed the planned trajectory is shorter so as to not cause direct conflict in the testing phase.

North Korea is under heavy sanctions from government bodies all across the world, the bulk of the sanctions originate from the United Nations, which includes demands to cease nuclear testing and various arms embargoes.

ICBMs and North Korea

Inter-continental ballistic missiles Icbms are usually capable of travelling a minimum distance of 5500 kilometres, and are fired into space and re-enter with very high velocity in the form of multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle, which carries the payload, usually nuclear.

The test has been part of a series of tests this year showcasing the military prowess while looking to develop a full-fledged ICBM capable of reaching US shores. This February saw another such test where the missile launched travelled a distance of 500 kilometres.

Another missile was launched designated as 'Hwasong-14' on July 4, 2017, coinciding with the American Independence Day celebrations. The missile is estimated to have a range of 6,700 kilometres to 10,000 kilometres. The biggest threat North Korea poses has always been direct to the United States and experts have estimated that they would be able to build an ICBM capable of reaching American coasts within the next two years.

ICBMs around the world

Six countries have been recognised as ICBM carriers, these countries are United States of America, Russia, China, India, Israel and France. It has been assumed that North Korea has ICBM capabilities but nothing has been confirmed, the threat, however, is very much real as there are indicators of successful missile development and tests.

The ICBMs are usually designed for nuclear payload delivery and contain various phases which differentiate them in terms of speed and range.

Unlike many other issues, the Trump administration has held the same opinion on North Korea as the Obama administration and called for the country to freeze all weapons programmes. Leadership in Japan and the United States have much to think about from the recent event as Kim Jong-un remains in charge of one of the last unhinged and uncontrolled nations in the world, which soon might be able to launch Nuclear ICBMs.