Photo Credit: screenshot YouTube, UNTV
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaking at the UN Security Council

Just a few hours after the United Nations Security Council met to confront North Korea over its nuclear activities and its missile test-launches, Pyongyang test-fired another ballistic missile at around 4:30 pm EDT Friday afternoon. It is believed to have been a medium-range KN-17 missile, which is used against vessels traveling in waterways around the region. The missile, which flew approximately 18 to 26 miles towards the Sea of Japan, was described as a “former SCUD” missile and the launch was described as “another failure.”

The missile was said to have failed, according to U.S. media reports, and didn’t reach the Sea of Japan. In fact, a number of reports said the projectile broke up over the peninsula.


U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson personally attended the UNSC session on Friday, where he told the gathered ambassadors in a statement, “With each successive detonation and missile test, North Korea pushes northeast Asia and the world, closer to instability toward a broader conflict.”

America’s dilemma with North Korea in many ways mirrors that of Israel with Iran, in that both democratic nations, and their allies, face threats by extremist regimes whose leaders insist on continuing to develop nuclear weapons and the ballistic missiles with which to deliver them.

“The threat of a nuclear attack on Seoul is real,” he continued, “and it is likely only a matter of time until North Korea develops the capability to strike the U.S. mainland. Indeed, the DPRK has repeatedly claimed to conduct such a strike. Given that rhetoric, the United States cannot idly stand by. All options for responding to future provocation must remain on the table,” he said.

“We’ll wait as long as it takes — as long as the threat is manageable,” Tillerson later told Fox News in a separate interview.

In a separate exclusive interview with Reuters on Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump warned, “There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely.”

While all this was going on, a group of Israeli tourists with a Tel Aviv travel firm may have been taking in the sights with a DPRK government guide in Pyongyang. The group departed from Ben Gurion International Airport on Tuesday despite firm warnings from Israel’s foreign ministry that its government would be unable to intervene, should anything go wrong during the “tour.” After Pyongyang, the group is scheduled to visit China, which has built increasingly warm ties with Israel and a strong bilateral tourist program.

This story was filed from New York prior to the start of the holy Sabbath.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.