The United States’ and North Korea’s actions relative to each other are always worth our attention. With North Korea missile testing shortly after the U.S. named the East Asian nation a state sponsor of terrorism (alongside Iran, Sudan and Syria), national safety fears fester.

North Korea’s new intercontinental missile test led to a “breakthrough,” according to North Korean officials. This test places America in the potential line of fire, as Reuters reported.

“It’s a research and development effort on their part,” U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said. Mattis also stated that this test, the highest launch in North Korean history, threatens world peace. “In response, the South Koreans have fired some pinpoint missiles into the water to make sure North Korea understands that they could be taken under fire by our ally.”

While Mattis’ remarks convey a (likely feigned) nonplussed national defense sentiment, such testing presents grave possibilities. This missile is, apparently, so powerful that it can survive re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere.

North Korea previously performed a missile test in mid-September, around the same time that President Donald Trump spoke of American isolationism and badmouthed North Korea at the United Nations General Assembly.

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