The Fourth of July fireworks today were thousands of miles away from the US as the Kim Jong Un regime has definitely upped the temperature on the Korean Peninsula by test-launching what appears to be North Korea's first ICBM. That move, combined with North Korea's previous multiple nuclear tests and very loud and pointed threats has the Trump regime calling for "global action" to be immediately taken against Pyongyang.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson strongly condemned North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile launch, calling it "a new escalation of the threat to the United States, our allies and partners, the region, and the world" in a statement Tuesday.
"Global action is required to stop a global threat," he said. "Any country that hosts North Korean guest workers, provides any economic or military benefits, or fails to fully implement UN Security Council resolutions is aiding and abetting a dangerous regime."
Tillerson also called for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and stated the US "will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea."
North Korea claimed Wednesday that it was just that. A statement from Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency said Tuesday's test was of a new, nuclear-capable ICBM.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called it an Independence Day present to the US, adding "we should deliver big and small presents often," KCNA said.
Tillerson's strong statement marks a striking contrast to when North Korea conducted a test in April and Tillerson said: "North Korea launched yet another intermediate-range ballistic missile. The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment."
Two nuclear-armed and mostly incompetent regimes led by narcissitic madmen? What could possibly go wrong?
The US and South Korea also announced they had conducted a joint exercise in response to North Korea's launch. A South Korean statement said the drill which was "intended as a strong warning against North Korean provocation" took place along South Korea's eastern coastline and "showcased precision targeting of the enemy's leadership in case of an emergency."
The drill is a clear signal from the Pentagon that the US and South Korea have no intention of stopping joint military exercises in exchange for North Korea halting its missile and nuclear testing, as China and Russia earlier suggested.
Earlier a US official told CNN that the US had "high confidence" that Monday's launch was an ICBM.
The official said analysis suggests a second-stage booster ignited and produced 30 seconds of additional flight.
Trump administration national security, military and diplomatic officials gathered for unexpected July 4 meetings to discuss what options might be needed, several administration officials told CNN.
We live in a world where right now China and Russia are playing the role of "voices of reason". Meanwhile, Trump and the GOP couldn't have asked for a better "wag the dog" scenario to distract America while they make their final moves on Trumpcare.
Watch these developments closely. Between this and Qatar's outright rejection of Saudi Arabia's demands as the blockade of Doha continues, the world just shifted into a far more dangerous place than it was a few days ago.