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North Korea’s ‘Christmas Gift’ to USA Likely a Long Range Missile Test

This could be the big one.

For weeks now there has been speculation on the Korean Peninsula as to what Kim Jong Un meant when he promised that he had a “Christmas gift” for the United States.

This wasn’t an unexpected action by North Korea, of course, as they’ve repeatedly employed a pattern of abusive and capitulatory behavior in order to find wiggle room on the smattering of international sanctions against them.  No, many saw this threat coming, but none were really certain as to what Kim Jong Un had planned.  Was it a nuke test?  Could it be a new diplomatic attitude?

It seems that we may now know the answer.

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The United States needs to stop expecting North Korea to just “surrender,” said Harry Kazianis, senior director at D.C.-based think tank the Center for National Interest.

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“I hope I’m wrong … I think the North Koreans are going to test a intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM),” Kazianis said. He explained it would probably be similar to the ICBM test in 2017, adding “I think the North Koreans have been very clear that they’re going to do this.”

North Korea’s state-owned paper on Tuesday called for development of new weapons to bolster national security on the 28th anniversary of a late former leader’s inauguration as the supreme commander of the army.

“If they really want to sort of drive the point home that they can put the United States at risk of a nuclear weapon, they would actually put a dummy warhead at the end of it and show that that warhead can get through the atmosphere and hit something like a city,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Tuesday.

North Korea has long used short range ballistic missiles to frighten the world at large, often launching them over, or in the general direction of, Japan.  A long range ICBM test would be a wake up call not only to the region, but to the world at large.

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