Next Steps After North Korea’s July 4th Missile Test

North Korea launched a land-based, intermediate range ballistic missile from North Pyongan province that flew for 37 minutes and 933 km (580 miles) in the morning of July 4. There are reports the missile reached an altitude over 2,500 km (lofted trajectory). North Korean state media has claimed the test to be a successful ICBM demonstration.

CSIS Beyond Parallel data analytics finds a two-week provocation window under Kim Jong-un after U.S.-ROK summits. We should expect more provocations to come.

The test sets up the Trump administration to pursue maximum pressure against North Korea at the upcoming G20 summit in Hamburg later this week (July 7-8). It may also compel a new U.S. declaratory policy on ICBMs and three-stage rocket tests.

The test will provide license for U.S. Department of Treasury to pursue wider-ranging financial sanctions against banks/entities involved with North Korea, following on from Section 311 action against Bank of Dandong last week.

South Korea will condemn the launch and call for additional UN sanctions, but will advocate for some form of dialogue to obtain a missile-testing freeze. The test will complicate Moon Jae-in’s desire to delay deployment of additional THAAD launchers.