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N Korea at crossroads

North Korea's ICBM threat verges on reality, 30 years in the making

Latest test -- 4th during Ukraine war -- makes stride toward global nuclear strike capability

The launch of what North Korea said was a Hwasong-17 greatly expanded the country's strike abilities. (Photo from KCNA)

TOKYO -- A global threat that was anticipated for decades has become all too real for the U.S. and its East Asian allies: North Korea has tested an intercontinental ballistic missile believed to be able to deliver a nuclear warhead to much of the world.

The breakthrough came on Thursday when much of the world's attention was focused on Russia's invasion of Ukraine. North Korea launched a missile that was the achievement of a 30-year effort to extend the range of its weapons by a factor of 30. 

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