North Korea's Missile Tests Show Real Progress
North Korea's latest missile tests indicate the Kim Jong Un government is continuing to advance its ballistic missile technology, in defiance of United Nations sanctions.
Pyongyang conducted its fifth and sixth test of the intermediate-range Musudan missile on Wednesday from the coastal city of Wonsan. U.S. and South Korean military officials said the first missile failed shortly after it was launched but the second missile flew approximately 400 kilometers before falling into the Sea of Japan.
The last missile tested did not reach the 3,000-kilometer distance the Musudan is designed for, to potentially reach U.S. military bases in Asia and the Pacific. It apparently also did not demonstrate the atmospheric re-entry capability needed to accurately hit a target. But analysts said North Korea continues to learn from each failure and is making advancements with each new test.
According to South Korean media, North Korea is believed to have up to 30 Musudan missiles, which officials said were first deployed around 2007. The first Musudan test occurred in April of this year.
U.N. Security Council resolutions ban North Korea from using ballistic missile technology and developing nuclear weapons. The United Nations imposed tough new sanctions on North in March for conducting its fourth nuclear test and launching a long-range rocket.
Tokyo said it would issue a strong protest against North Korea for its latest violation of United Nations resolutions.
South Korea called the missile test a clear provocation “against us” and urged Pyongyang to exercise restraint.
U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby condemned the launch, and said the United States intended to "raise our concerns at the U.N. to bolster international resolve in holding the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) accountable for these provocative actions."
Iran Signs Tentative Deal with Boeing to Buy Passenger Jets
U.S. aerospace giant Boeing has signed a tentative deal to sell passenger jets to Iran, in what would be the biggest business deal between the U.S. and Iran in 37 years.
The transaction would be worth as much as $25 billion, with Iran buying at least 100 commercial jets for its state-owned airline.
With most economic sanctions against Iran lifted after it signed the recent nuclear deal, Iran Air is ready to expand its fleet. It already has made a pending deal with the European consortium Airbus for passenger planes.
Boeing says the Obama administration approved its initial deal with Iran after determining that Tehran is meeting its obligations under the nuclear agreement.
"Boeing will continue to follow the lead of the U.S. government with regards to working with Iran's airlines, and any and all contracts with Iran's airlines will be contingent upon U.S. government approval," a company statement said Tuesday.