But intercontinental missiles aimed at the United States would fly in an arc into space before returning to Earth to hit their targets. The North is still working on a warhead that could survive the intense heat of re-entry as it plunges from space.
In addition to test missiles, North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests. Each test of its nuclear capabilities has been more powerful than the last, and it appears to be preparing a sixth test.
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What is the rest of the world doing?
The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Saturday to impose new sanctions on North Korea for defying a ban on testing missiles and nuclear bombs.
The resolution, imposing an eighth set of sanctions in 11 years, was intended to cut the country’s annual export revenue by $1 billion, about a third of its current total.
However, a recent investigation by our reporters found that despite years of sanctions, North Korea still has ways — many of them illegal — to finance its weapons program. We also found that the North Korean economy is doing surprisingly well. Merchants and entrepreneurs, thriving under the protection of the ruling party, are encouraging a building boom in Pyongyang, and there are more cars in the capital than ever before.
On Monday, there appeared to be a rare opening to engage the North in diplomatic discussions. On the sidelines of a conference of Southeast Asian foreign ministers in Manila, North Korea’s top diplomat held an uncommon round of talks with his counterparts from China, South Korea and Russia.
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