On February 12, 2017, North Korea claimed that it successfully tested a nuclear-capable intermediate-range ballistic missile, “Pukguksong-2,” off its eastern coast. The missile flew 500 kilometers before falling in the Sea of Japan, and the test was confirmed by both South Korea and the United States. Despite North Korea’s claims that it has successfully tested crucial technologies such as long-range missile engines and heat shields for an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), it remains unclear how close the country has come to building a reliable intercontinental ballistic missile. The test of the Pukguksong-2 does, however, demonstrate the advances that have been made in its efforts to enhance the range of its missiles.
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