In a worrying development Tuesday, to celebrate Independence Day in the USA, the North Korean government not only launched into the sea a missile whose projected capabilities could reach as far as Alaska, but leader Kim Jong Un, openly mocked the US saying, he had a 'package of gifts for the American b******ds on their July 4th holiday,' only one of many that he will deliver over the coming months.

On the Brink?

In January this year, the President-elect, Donald Trump said it was unlikely that North Korea would have the capability to strike the USA, anytime soon, unfortunately, with the missile launched yesterday the North has confounded that prediction way too early.

With a current range of over 600 kilometres, it can easily reach the US coast and with further adjustments strike deep inland, only a matter of time before his goal of a fully realised armed nuclear arsenal will be at his disposal. Both the US, Japan and South Korea have reacted with restrained dismay, Trump tweeting that it really was time for China to reign in the young leader and make him see some sense, or the spectre of war could be on the immediate horizon?

What does he want?

As there is no diplomatic tie between the US and North Korea it is difficult to tell. Kim has categorically stated in no uncertain terms, that he will never give up his weapons of mass destruction. It also remains a mystery why he has ramped up the aggression towards America since he came to power.

It is also clear that if he does not yet have the capabilities of successfully attaching a nuclear tip to a long-range missile, he soon will have.

Of course, the only option open to the West is yet further sanctions and of course cries for reasonable pressure by global governments on China to stop this needless aggression, although it still looks rather futile as there is no diplomatic channels open anywhere!

Even President Putin in Moscow on Tuesday waded into the argument saying that both Russia and China want talks to be commenced immediately to stabilise the Korean Peninsula; the US reply was more military shows of force near the DMZ with its Southern allies.

It is vital that diplomats need to be talking, for sanctions obviously do not work, talking and common sense is the only solution left.

If one considers that tens of millions of innocent South Koreans live in the shadow of the DMZ, it is they, not the politicians in the West, who will be most terribly affected first, should the simmering pot run over?